Swiss top court upholds ban on foreign online betting operators

FILE PHOTO: The main courtroom (Grande Salle) of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgericht) is pictured in Lausanne, Switzerland, Switzerland, November 16, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland's supreme court has upheld a ban on accessing foreign online gambling sites, dashing the hopes of three betting outfits to tap the Swiss market.

The Federal Court said in a statement on Tuesday the "domain name system" ban was proportionate. Gaming officials have since 2019 used network blocks to limit access to the market to Swiss-approved games of chance.

The system means Swiss gamblers can bet online only with Swiss casinos and lotteries that pay tax in the country and that protect people against falling victim to addiction.

German group AG had on Monday already revealed the verdict.

The three rulings posted on the court's website did not name the companies involved.

In four verdicts released last year, the Federal Administrative Court had ruled against Malta-based Interwetten International Ltd, Videoslots Ltd, bet-at-home Entertainment Ltd, and Lopoca Gaming Ltd in suits against the Swiss Federal Gaming Board seeking to circumvent the ban.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Mark Potter)

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