The new Swiss gambling laws mean that some foreign operators will be excluded from the market at some point. This day has come, as the Intercantonal Lottery and Betting Commission (Comlot) has published its list of blacklisted websites, and the Federal Gaming Office (SFGB) has also.
The new Swiss gambling regulations, which came into force on 1 January 2019, allow Swiss casinos to offer their own online gambling products. However, as of July 1, 2019, it also allows regulators to block any foreign operator that has not entered into partnership contracts with local land-based operations.
In the future, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will be required to block websites listed by both organizations, for a total of 65 domains in total. Many European operators fill the list, including notables such as Bet365 and Pinnacle.
Many operators had already withdrawn from the Swiss market, anticipating that they would not be able to reach an agreement and continue to do business. GVC Holdings sites like Bwin and PartyPoker left the market in January, while William Hill stuck until June, squeezing every bit of profit from the country while it was still legal to do so.
Don’t feel too bad for Swiss punters though. They voted in favour of this regulation, making it an overwhelming majority of legislation. They wanted to keep the money from the game within the Swiss borders, and it seems that they did it mostly.
If companies like Bet365 hope to return to the Swiss market in the future, they will work hard to maintain a good reputation in the country. Operators who show that they can maintain five years of obedience to local laws are eligible for partnerships and reintroduction in Switzerland. This means that there are no tricks, such as letting Swiss players use virtual private networks (VPNs) to circumvent the new regulatory regime.
From their perspectives, this should not be too difficult to do. When William Hill left the market, they noted that it was an easy decision because they had very few Swiss players.