Online gambling sites lose bid to access Swiss market - court

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The spinning wheel on a Roulette table is seen at the Dragonara Casino in St Julian's, Malta April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi/File Photo

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ZURICH, Dec 14 (Reuters) - A Swiss court has blocked requests by foreign online gambling operators to access the Swiss market, which gaming officials have limited since 2019 to Swiss-approved games of chance.

That 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.

In four verdicts released on Tuesday, the Federal Administrative Court 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.

"It goes without saying that the restriction of access to online gaming services that are not licensed in Switzerland is in the public interest and can be enforced with strict measures," the court said.

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Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by David Evans

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