Switzerland’s Comlot Rebrands to Gespa
Comlot, the Swiss Lottery and Betting Board, has been rebranded as Gespa. This means that Gespa now has all of Comlot’s previous rights and responsibilities, including those relating to large-scale gambling, such as sports betting and the country’s lotteries.
At the start of January 2021, the Swiss Geldspiel Konkordat (GSK) came into effect in replacement of the Intercantonal Convention on Licensing and Supervision of Intercantonal and National Lotteries and Bets, and at the same time, the rebranding took place.
It came after the Federal Act on Real-Money Gaming (Bundesgesetz über Geldspiele) was introduced, which banned unlicensed gambling and allowed land-based casinos to receive iGaming licenses from the beginning of last year. Following its introduction, Swiss cantons were given two years in which to update their local gambling laws to meet the new federal requirements.
There are five members of Gespa’s board of directors, including the president, two members each from French and German-speaking Switzerland, and one member from Italian-speaking Switzerland. Furthermore, the commissioners of the now-defunct Comlot have become members of Gespa’s supervisory board, and the former Comlot secretariat is now Gespa’s office.
Gespa has a range of responsibilities. Primarily it must ensure that Swiss gamblers have safe places to enjoy lotteries, sports betting and skill-based games. It must also ensure that there are player protection measures in place and it is in charge of combating illegal gambling by means such as the blacklisting of unlicensed operators.
It is also Gespa’s responsibility to prevent manipulation in sports, to act as a reporting office and to ensure that information is properly sent between domestic and foreign organizations and gambling operators.
Each year Gespa will also have to publish statistics on large- and small-scale gambling and produce reports detailing the use of lottery and sports betting revenues.
The most recent results, published in December 2020, reveal that Swiss cantons distributed $623.5 million of revenue to good causes in 2019, including to arts and culture, sports, and historical building preservation work.