While gambling was legalized in Switzerland back in 1923, it was available only in the form of lottery. The rest of the gambling products became legal in 2000, with the Federal Act on Gambling being the main piece of legislation that governs the gambling sector in the country.
Even though land-based gaming has been legalized more than two decades ago, Switzerland started regulating online gambling only a few years ago after the Federal Act on Money Games (AMG) was amended in 2018 and its new form was implemented in 2019.
Currently, unlicensed gambling websites are blocked by Swiss ISPs (Internet Service Providers). Additionally, local financial institutions are instructed to stop transactions from and to unregulated gambling platforms. This further improves the regulation of the newly-launched iGaming market in Switzerland, ensuring a safe gambling environment online.
Best Casinos in Switzerland
Online gambling has been legalized in Switzerland fairly recently, which means Swiss players can still have a difficult time finding the best legal websites where they can revel in a safe, fun, and rewarding casino experience. To help you with the choice, we have listed the best online casinos that welcome Swiss players, providing a top-notch gaming time filled with diverse gaming options, bountiful promotions, and safe payments.
Best Casino Bonuses in Switzerland
As a way to ensure a more thrilling experience for bettors, online casinos in Switzerland offer their members various promotions. These may include Welcome Bonus packages, reload match bonuses, or free spins. Every time a Swiss player likes to redeem a bonus offer, we advise them to thoroughly check the terms and conditions of the offer before it is claimed. To help you get a better understanding of the promotions you can enjoy as a Swiss online player, we will cover the most common bonus types and their specific features.
Deposit Match Bonuses
This is probably the most popular type of incentive one can redeem as a virtual casino player in Switzerland. Deposit match bonuses can be offered to newly registered players, awarding prizes for their first deposit or several initial top-ups of the accounts. This type of casino incentive requires a minimum deposit that players need to make to qualify for the respective bonus. Typically, to be able to withdraw their bonuses, players are required to wager the respective bonus amount several times. These so-called wagering requirements usually need to be met within a certain period of time. Once bonus funds are played the required number of times, they will be available for withdrawals.
Another great bonus variation that Swiss players can often enjoy while they play at online casinos is the one awarding free slot spins. Whether it is offered as a part of a Welcome Bonus or when a software provider wants to promote its new titles, this type of casino incentive can help Swiss players enjoy a few extra rounds on their favorite slots. Winnings from free spins are credited to players’ accounts as bonus funds that need to be converted into withdrawable money. This happens after players meet the turnover condition that applies to the free spin promotion they have redeemed.
Casino Regulation in Switzerland
Gambling in Switzerland, at least the land-based form of the industry, was legalized in 2000. The only exception is the lottery, which started being regulated way back in 1923. While brick-and-mortar gambling facilities have been legalized over two decades ago, it took 19 years for online gambling to catch up and also become regulated in Switzerland.
The main piece of legislation that regulates the gambling industry in Switzerland is the Federal Act on Gambling. Meanwhile, betting lottery and lottery-like games are regulated by a separate piece of legislation, with the Federal Act on Lotteries and Commercial Betting being that law. The legal age for online casino wagering in Switzerland is 18 or older.
Online Casino Regulation and Licensing Requirements
The online gambling industry in Switzerland became a regulated market in 2019 after the Federal Act on Money Games (AMG) was amended in 2018. Under the AMG, online gambling in Switzerland is legal, however, operators who wish to offer casino games or sports betting online must obtain a license from the respective Swiss authority. Currently, only licensed land-based casino operators in Switzerland are allowed to obtain an online casino license. The validity of these licenses is until 2024, as the amended law gave online casino licenses an expiration period of six years after the new AMG law came into effect.
Once the current licenses expire, there will be a new tender for online casino license holders. Any entity can apply for this type of operational license, including offshore companies. To do that, they will need a subsidiary domiciled in Switzerland or they can join forces with any of the local land-based casinos. To ensure a safer online casino environment for Swiss players, the AMG has some additional requirements for foreign operators who wish to enter the legal online casino sector of Switzerland.
In addition to the rest of the requirements, international providers who wish to operate in Switzerland must ensure their good reputation. To do that, they must provide evidence they have not illegally offered casino games to Swiss players in the last five years. Access to any online casino providers who have not been licensed by the Swiss regulator will be blocked by local ISPs.
Online Casino Regulatory Body in Switzerland
The regulation of the gambling industry in Switzerland falls under the remit of the Swiss Federal Gaming Board. There are two types of casino licenses, which can be issued by the respective authority. The first one is called License A, also known as Grand Casino license, and it allows the provision of a number of gambling services, which also include high-stake casino games as well as games that offer progressive prizes. This type of license imposes no limits on the bets, the variety of decks, or the machines players can use to play.
The second variation of casino license is known as Gambling License B, with the number of entities that can receive this type of license being limited. Spa places or resort casinos fall under the category of License B holders who are allowed to offer up to three gaming tables. What is more, there is a betting cap of CHF 25 imposed on every game, with no progressive jackpots allowed to be offered by holders of this type of casino license.
As mentioned above, only operators who own a brick-and-mortar casino license can also obtain an online casino license. Luckily, both A and B casino license holders are eligible for virtual gambling licenses and simply need to apply for an extension of their respective licenses.
Can I Play Live Casino Games at Swiss Online Casinos?
Yes. With the 2018 amendment of the Federal Act on Money Games (AMG), all forms of online gambling were legalized in Switzerland. That means Swiss online players can legally gamble on slots, table games, video poker, bingo, and Live Casino table games or variety shows.
How Many Legal Online Casinos Are Operating in Switzerland?
Although a total of 21 operators holding land-based casino licenses can apply for online casino licenses in Switzerland, currently, there are 11 online casinos where Swiss players can legally play. That said, with current online casino licenses being valid until 2024, there is a possibility of new operators entering the Swiss iGaming market.
Can Players Redeem Several Casino Bonuses When Playing Online?
While Swiss virtual casinos can offer their members various types of promotions, most likely, Swiss players will be able to redeem one bonus at a time. That said, licensed casino brands tend to offer Welcome Bonuses and promotions for returning players, which means there is always a suitable deal to claim.
Are There Any Restrictions on Supported Payment Methods?
While Switzerland has not introduced any limitations on the type of payment methods Swiss players can use for their online casino deposits and withdrawals, one could encounter some restrictions when it comes to redeeming bonus offers. Before claiming a bonus, players are advised to read the terms and conditions of the promotions to see if any deposit methods are excluded from the offer.
How Can I Be Sure the Online Casino Where I Play is Licensed in Switzerland?
Whenever you open a licensed Swiss online casino brand, you will notice information about the casino’s operator, which should be a land-based casino brand in Switzerland. You can also see a full list of all licensed casinos in Switzerland by visiting the official websites of Swiss Casinos Holding AG, which operates four casinos in Switzerland.