Switzerland’s government wants its citizens and the rest of the world to know that a subsidiary of pan-European online gambling operator Bwin.party digital entertainment has no authorization to offer online wagering to Swiss citizens, despite the site’s “misleading” use of the Swiss coat of arms in its logo. The site in question, SCasino.com, operates under the banner of Swiss Casino, and is one of 11 Playtech-powered sites managed by the Bwin.party-owned Global Gaming Net (GGN). Other GGN-managed sites include Club Dice, Casino King, 50 Stars and Casino Las Vegas (so far, no protest from Nevada over that last one).
On Friday, Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) posted a warning on its website, stating that Swiss Casino “is not connected in any way to Switzerland even though the use of the Swiss coat of arms and numerous references to Switzerland falsely creates that impression.” Swiss Casino’s “Experience Swiss Quality” marketing tagline appears to have particularly irritated Swiss authorities, as the notice goes on to say that some of the site’s contents “are deceiving and misleading.” (Much like the promises made to investors ahead of the Bwin and PartyGaming merger. ZING!)
SECO believes the Swiss Casino site has violated both the Federal Act against Unfair Competition and the Federal Act on the Protection of the Swiss Coat of Arms. Leaving aside Swiss Casino’s piggybacking on Switzerland’s good name, SECO also pointed out that online gambling remains illegal under Swiss law (although plans are underway that could change that reality). However, SECO cops to the fact that since neither Bwin.party nor GGN have any legal presence in Switzerland, they “cannot be held accountable at the present time.” To be on the safe side, Norbert Teufelberger should opt to ski somewhere else in future, lest the land of alpenhorns join France and Belgium on the list of EU member nations in which the Bwin.party CEO has been detained by authorities.