As previously informed, the Federal Act on Money Gambling (Gambling Act) has come into force 1 January 2019. Good thing for some: The act allows Swiss casinos to offer online games subject to specific conditions. Bad thing for many: The new gambling regulation also provides for the legal basis to technically block access to foreign online operators seeking to offer their services to the Swiss market.
The regulations on the implementation of such blocking measures have taken effect on 1 July 2019. On this basis, the competent authorities consisting of the Swiss Federal Gaming Board (SFGB) and the Intercantonal Lottery and Betting Commission (Comlot), are authorised to instruct internet service providers to block access to blacklisted casino and betting sites (blacklisted are sites that can be accessed from Switzerland and do not hold a valid license compliant to the Gambling Act).
Today, 3 September 2019, the Swiss SFGB and Comlot have published their respective blacklists:
These blacklists have been published in the Swiss Federal Gazette and will need to be enforced by the internet access providers.
What to do if you are blacklisted?
Online operators that have been blacklisted are not without legal protection: By claiming opposition, they can defend themselves against such a measure within 30 days (Art. 86 et seq. Gambling Act). The chances to be successful in challenging the decision of the Swiss authorities will depend on the factual circumstances. Challenging the blacklisting is particularly advisable in cases in which access from Switzerland to the gaming services have already been restricted by appropriate means or in cases in which there was no reason for a listing in the first place. If you may be affected by the new Money Gaming Act or by the measures taken by the Swiss gaming authorities, we shall be happy to provide guidance.