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Switzerland – Swiss Federal Council closes regulatory gap in gambling law

By - 4 December 2023

The Swiss Federal Council has moved to close a loophole in the current gambling law as previously it can not regulate who is responsible for lifting gambling bans issued by a casino that no longer exists.

In order to close this gap, the Federal Council adopted an amendment to the Gambling Ordinance (VGS) at its meeting on November 29 2023. From January 1 2024, the nearest casino will be responsible for lifting a gambling ban in such cases.

The Council said: “Under current law, a banned player can have the suspension lifted if the reason for the ban no longer exists. The casino or organiser of major games that has imposed the ban is responsible for the cancellation proceedings. So far, the responsibility for the event that the casino or organizer that issued the ban no longer exists has not yet been regulated.”

“The Federal Council has closed this regulatory gap by amending the VGS. The data entered into the blocking register from a closed casino must be forwarded to the nearest casino from January 1, 2024. This will process future applications for the lifting of gambling bans issued by the blocking casino. The regulation also applies to organisers of major games: If an organiser ceases business activities, the organiser of lotteries and sports betting whose registered office is closest is responsible for the lifting proceedings of existing gambling bans and receives the data entered in the blocking register for this purpose.”

“This regulation protects the rights of players. This is particularly important against the backdrop of the renewal of the current casino licences as of 2025,” it added.

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