Swiss Supreme Court Rejects DNS Blocking Complaints

Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court has shown its support for the imposed ban on online gambling operators outside the country’s borders. The decision comes after the same court rejected a complaint formulated by three betting companies whose names have not been revealed. 

The Court Approved Intercantonal Lottery and Betting Commission’s Blocking Strategy

The said domain name system (DNS) blocking strategy was initiated by the Intercantonal Lottery and Betting Commission three years ago. The same court also went against the claims according to which the ban was outside the rules of the nation’s constitution. 

A few months ago, the Intercantonal Gaming Court also decided to dismiss the appeal formulated by three unnamed gaming companies in Malta who had their domains blocked in the country since 2019. This brought the case to the Supreme Court, which concluded that the respective DNS system created as a result of the approval of the Gambling Act 2018 is fully doing exactly what it is supposed to do. Namely, restrict access to online gaming services that are not legally authorized to be available in Switzerland. 

The federal judges ruled that the DNS system was more efficient compared to monitored providers’ lists and other similar protection measures for Swiss gamers. 

The Three Plaintiffs Argued the Ban Went Against Switzerland’s Laws 

The three plaintiffs that were not officially named by the court claimed that the respective ban against them was a direct contravention to the country’s economic freedom laws. Their claim was also rejected by the court that said their argument did not apply to the gambling field. They added that the legislation used its constitutional power to deviate from the economic freedom principle by restricting the offering of online games for real money to Swiss games and operators that are licensed and monitored in the country. 

The lack of “sufficient and effective supervisory options” from the authorities in Switzerland placed foreign competitors outside the law., according to the official ruling from the COurt. 

In 2021, the Federal Administrative Court ruled against four gaming operators in Malta in lawsuits against the Federal Gaming Board, in an attempt to lift the ban against the, the four groups were bet-at-home Entertainment, Interwetten International Ltd, Lopoca Gaming, and Videoslots Ltd. 

At the end of April, the Swiss Federal Gaming Board decided to authorize two extra regions on the country’s licensing map.

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