Switzerland expands international online gambling blacklist


switzerland-online-gambling-blacklistSwitzerland’s online gambling blacklist has added 16 new rogue domains, while a new survey claims online gambling is most likely to produce problem gambling behavior among Swiss punters.

On Tuesday, the Swiss Lottery and Betting Board (Comlot) issued an updated blacklist of international online gambling operators who continue to serve local punters without local permission. The original list issued in early September contained 65 domains while the new list has bumped that number up to 81.

UK betting giant Bet365’s main .com domain appeared on September’s list, while October’s chart added the company’s Italian-licensed site, along with unrelated Italian operators Betaland.it and Betflag.it. US-facing domains Betonline.ag and SportsBetting.ag also made the grade, as did (in alphabetical order) Africabet.co.zw, Anogame.com, Anoguess.com, Bahigo207.com, Betlima117.com, Betlive.com, Betolimp.com, Betrebels.com, Betspawn.com, Lopoca.com and Topsport.com.au.

Switzerland’s Federal Gaming Commission (ESBK) issued its own online gambling blacklist in September and it contained numerous domains not included on Comlot’s chart. The ESBK has yet to update its blacklist this month.

Meanwhile, the ESBK has released a new survey of Swiss gambling behavior using data compiled for the Swiss Health Survey 2017 (viewable here, in German). Around 69% of the 18,832 respondents copped to gambling at least once in their lives in 2017, down from 70.6% in the 2012 survey.

Switzerland’s most popular form of gambling remains the state lotteries at 48.2% participation, followed by raffles and private games (14.3%), casino table games (8.6%), casino slot machines (6.7%), the catch-all category of gambling halls, foreign casinos and foreign lotteries (5.7%), sports betting with Swiss providers (4.5%) and internationally licensed online gambling sites (2.3%).

While those international sites may have ranked dead last, the survey found that these sites scored highest (22.1%) in the number of ‘risky or pathological’ gamblers. The other highest risky/problem gambling verticals were sports betting (14.3%), followed by slots (13.8%) and table games (11.5%).

However, Switzerland’s overall rate those deemed to be at risk of developing problem gambling behavior was only 2.8%, while those deemed to be actual pathological gamblers was a mere 0.2%, figures that match well with those found in other gambling jurisdictions.

Regardless, the ESBK claimed the results supported the Swiss government’s efforts to restrict its citizens from accessing gambling sites not holding a Swiss license. The government’s new regulated online market officially took effect in January but the ESBK didn’t get around to issuing its first online permits until June.