Although Swiss gambling laws make sports betting illegal apart from some lottery-style games, not everyone takes the ban seriously until it is too late.
According to Swiss gambling news outlets, police in the northwestern municipality of Ostermundigen, just outside the city of Bern, raided an illegal gambling den on Wednesday night, questioning 48 people on the premises and arresting 5 of them.
The men are charged with operating illegal sportsbooks on the premises of a Turkish cultural center. According to police statement released after the arrests, the men in custody hailed from Turkey, Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Switzerland.
The police operation started late in the evening and lasted for several hours, resulting in the confiscation of computers and betting slips in the approximate value of CHF 150,000.
Neighbors were divided on the matter. Some had suspected the shady dealings, while others insisted of having been unaware of any illegal gambling activity taking place in the building.
The owner of the building, who also runs a bar inside, was similarly oblivious to it all. “We just watched the Champions League when suddenly masked policemen invaded our place. I did not know what was going on, we were treated like terrorists,” complained the Turkish man.
Police claims they have also found evidence of illegal casino gambling, including card games and even online gambling technology. As in most countries around the world, casino games are relegated to licensed establishments in Switzerland. As far as online gambling is concerned, it is completely illegal.
All in all, as long as these restrictions are in place, patrons of such establishments would risk much less by staying home and doing some mobile betting on their smartphones.