Meanwhile, one of the German betting hopefuls is coming under renewed criticism over the border in Switzerland. Last June, the country’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) called out several online gambling sites it claimed were engaging in “misleading” use of national icons such as the country’s coat of arms to imply some sort of state blessing on their operations. Singled out for particular derision was SCasino.com, which is operated by a subsidiary of Gibraltar-licensed operator Bwin.party digital entertainment.
SCasino has since removed the offending iconography, but SECO issued a fresh warning on Monday regarding what it believes to be another Bwin-backed site, onlinecasinoschweiz24.ch – along with Belize-based Virtual Casino Services Inc’s casino-zuerich.com and the unknown operators behind swisscasinoonline.eu. SECO said the sites’ use of the Swiss flag and the geographical terms ‘Schweiz’, ‘Swiss’ and ‘Zuerich’ were intended to “create the impression that the gambling games offered on the websites originate from Switzerland.”
In fact, the sites “have never been approved by the Swiss Federal Gaming Board” because online gambling remains illegal in Switzerland. SECO said the sites in questions are guilty of “violations of both the Federal Act against Unfair Competition and the Federal Act on the Protection of the Swiss Coat of Arms.”