Bid to Overturn Swiss Gambling Law Fails

One of the major factors in the gambling industry is companies looking to expand into other areas. This is the case with companies such as 888sport and Unibet increasing their share of markets in North America. However, they are unable to include Switzerland on their list of countries to open a sportsbook in.

Why? Well, Switzerland has a ban on accessing foreign online betting sites. That’s not going down well at all with those companies looking to get a share of the Swiss market. It’s something they are going to have to endure though due to a recent Swiss Supreme Court decision.

Tuesday June 28 saw the Federal Court rule that the “domain name system” ban was in their view, proportionate.

The past three years have seen network blocks being used by gaming officials. This has had the result of limiting access to the Swiss market, thus frustrating those looking to get customers from the country signed up to their sites.

For gamblers in Switzerland, this means they can only place bets online with Swiss casinos and lotteries. This is important for the government and support groups in the country. The casinos and lotteries that are allowed to operate pay tax and that is used to protect those who develop gambling problems.

Three gambling companies from overseas had been hoping the court would change the current situation. Their names were not revealed in court. However, we do know that bet-at-home had been trying to see a change in how overseas gambling companies are treated. The German group had revealed the day before the court announcement that no changes were to be made.

It’s not the first time that efforts have been made to change the rules in Switzerland. Last year the Federal Court ruled against four gambling companies who had tried to see the ban ended. Again, that list included bet-at-home. The others were: Interwetten International Ltd, Videoslots Ltd and Lopoca Gaming Ltd.

On that occasion, the court said that not allowing companies not licenced for online gaming in Switzerland was “in the public interest and can be enforced with strict measures.” A year on, it seems that nothing has changed nor will it in the immediate future.

Gambling companies will therefore have to strike Switzerland off their list of markets to expand in. Unibet recently announced that July will see them opening a sportsbook in the Netherlands after being granted a licence by the regulatory body in that country.