Switzerland Clamps Down on Illegal Gambling Sites 

Switzerland’s gambling regulator has added new names to a list of blacklisted companies as its crackdown on illegal gambling operators continues.  

 The Switzerland Lottery and Betting Board (COMLOT) has named 16 new operators as in breach of gambling regulations, by offering online betting services to Swiss residents without permission.  

Betting brands added to the list include Africabet.co.zw, Topsport.com.au and Betlive.com as well as Betfalt.it and Betaland.it, both based in Italy. The list of domain names identified by the regulator now extends to 81 and it could grow over the coming months with further enforcement action.  

Last month, the Federal Gaming Commission of Switzerland (ESBK) set up their own list of operators who had fallen foul of the rules, which overlaps with the Lottery’s list, but includes some other brands not identified so far by COMLOT.  

The gambling sector in Switzerland is set to undergo significant changes next year when COMLOT hands over authority for regulation to a new agency, GESPA, although the status of the new regulator has to be confirmed individually by all of Switzerland’s cantons.  

The new Gambling Agreement, which will support the operations of the new body will replace the previous inter-canton Convention and will give GESPA the status of a public-law institution, as politicians and campaigners in the country debate the way forward for online gambling.   

In defending their own clampdown on unregulated sites, the ESBK has pointed to a survey that showed that gambling was widespread throughout the country, with 69% of those surveyed saying they had gambled at least once during 2017, while internationally licensed gambling sites, despite representing only 2.3% of the market, accounted for 22.1% of gambling activity among those considered to be at risk of problem gambling or addiction.  

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