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Voters in yesterday’s referendum in Switzerland have backed new gaming legislation that blocks foreign betting sites from serving players in the country.

The Gambling Act was backed overwhelmingly, with 73 per cent of voters opting for the strict reforms, which will come into force in 2019.

The new regime permits only Swiss-certified casinos and gaming firms to operate. While supporters claim the legislation will tackle gambling addiction, opponents say it amounts to censorship of the internet.

Justice minister Simonetta Sommaruga, quoted by the BBC, said the law would be “indispensable” in the fight against addiction. She also said it would allow the government to fund anti-gambling measures through taxation.

Government figures state that Swiss gamblers currently spend the equivalent of €215m on unregulated foreign betting sites.