Today, Switzerland boasts a vibrant and popular gambling sector with a wide range of casino games, sports betting, lotteries and skill-based games, available through land-based and online gambling platforms. Recent reforms and liberalisations of the gambling industry in Switzerland have expanded the sector and brought it in step with broader European standards and attitudes.
The loosening of regulations by the Swiss state has allowed the industry to flourish in recent years. Now, according to government data, the gambling industry in Switzerland is worth CHF3 billion (€2.8 billion) and produces a profit of just under CHF1 billion – making it a significant boon to the already prosperous Swiss economy.
Gambling in Switzerland
Historically, Switzerland has maintained strict regulation in relation to gambling. In 1921, Switzerland banned gambling altogether, only allowing the existence of lotteries several years later.
It was not until 1993 that Switzerland allowed land-based Casinos to open, and even then they were restricted to limited-stakes gambling. To this day, only one land-based casino can operate in each of Switzerland’s 26 cantons (regions). Among these are the Swiss Casino in Zurich, The Grand Casino in Basel, and the Casino Du Lac in Geneva.
All gambling in Switzerland is licensed and supervised by the Swiss Gambling Supervisory Body: GESPA. GESPA is committed to safe and responsible gambling, placing an emphasis on player protection.
Online gambling in Switzerland
While the landlocked nation initially resisted the introduction of online gambling, a law was passed in 2018 called the Federal Act on Money Games (AMG), which liberalised the market and allowed the existence of licensed online operators from the 1st January 2019.
The new law was approved by three quarters of the voting population, demonstrating the popularity of gambling legalisation and liberalisation in Switzerland.
Since then, there has been an explosion in online betting platforms and online casinos in Switzerland as operators rush to take advantage of the burgeoning market – now with the explicit backing of the population and the government.
Under the new gambling law, every operator must apply for a licence from the Swiss gambling regulator in order to be allowed to legally operate in the country. Websites that have not been granted a licence but persist in offering their services to residents of Switzerland have been slapped with DNS (Domain Name Server) blocks by the Swiss telecommunications agency. In 2019, the Swiss Gambling Supervisory Body ordered 88 such blocks against illegal operators.
That said, there are now numerous licensed sports betting and gambling websites in Switzerland that are offering excellent services. According to bestbettingsites.com/switzerland/ the top sports betting sites in Switzerland offer competitive signup bonuses and exhibit all the qualities of the more established betting sites operating in other countries.
The Swiss Lottery
The lottery is the oldest and most established form of gambling in Switzerland. There are two lottery operators in Switzerland: Swisslos and Loterie Romande. Swisslos operates in the German and Italian cantons, while Loterie Romande functions in the francophone areas.
The EuroMillions lottery has been present in Switzerland since 2004, joining the Swiss Lotto as one of the most popular lotteries in the country. Alongside these two major lotteries, both organisations offer scratch tickets and other lotteries via physical outlets and on their online platforms.
As in most places, profits from the lottery in Switzerland must be used for the public good. Specifically, profits must be invested in areas that support culture, social welfare, sports, or the environment.
Sports betting in Switzerland
In Switzerland, the two lottery organisations mentioned above also run the sports betting outlets. Under different brand names – Jouez Sport and Sporttip – the lotteries offer a range of online and land-based sports betting facilities.
Until recently, betting on horse racing was only possible in the French-speaking parts of Switzerland, but it has now been legalised in the German regions too.
A bright future for betting in Switzerland
Switzerland is one the wealthiest countries in the world when considered on a per capita basis, which suggests huge growth potential for the newly established online gambling industry and continued prosperity for all existing gambling operations.
With the liberalisation of the gambling market in Switzerland the industry is all set to enjoy a bright future and to play an important role in the county’s vigorous economy.