Where can we bet securely and which are the leading bookmakers in Switzerland?
Online betting would be enjoyable only if you find the right bookmaker meeting your needs. In the table below, we outlined the top betting websites in Switzerland, where players will find professional support and different gaming options.
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Compared to the rest of the world, Switzerland was relatively slow off the mark to legalize online gambling. The law only passed in 2019, but that did not stop punters from enjoying a bet or two before this. As it currently stands, there is a diverse market in Switzerland of both local and international betting sites, and punters can pick and choose the site that works best for them.
Interesting Facts about Betting in Switzerland
- Approximately 1.21 million people in Switzerland gamble frequently, equivalent to 20% of the population
- Casino gaming revenue has actually been decreasing for the past few years, although gambling as a whole has not lost popularity
- 56% of the Swiss population of legal gambling age is believed to have taken part in some kind of lottery over the past year
- Lotteries are the most common form of gambling within the country
- Swiss men are more likely to gamble frequently than women
- 64% of slot machines in the country are not located in casinos, instead of in establishments like bars and restaurants, making them more easily accessible for the majority of the population
Gambling Legislation and Laws
Switzerland has gambling laws at a national level, but also allows individual cantons to implement and regulate their own laws surrounding gambling in their territory. The 1998 Casinos Act was passed, which legalized gambling of certain kinds, which had been totally illegal up until that point. This law regulated games of chance (like casino games), and lotteries and sports betting. Lotteries are prohibited at a national level, but cantons are allowed to implement their own, which most do. Sports betting is limited, and generally, only pool-style bets are allowed.
Then the Money Gaming Act became law only in 2019. This legalized online gambling, which up until this point had occupied a kind of a grey area. This law stipulates that brick and mortar establishments that offer to gamble can also provide online gambling services, and international betting sites are blocked from serving the Swiss population.
Competition Between Operators
The way that the Swiss law works means that only physical betting companies, who operate in brick and mortar establishments throughout the country can be licensed to offer online betting services. As there is a monopoly on sports betting offline, this has translated to a monopoly online as well. Swisslos and Loterie Romande are the only two companies in the country that can legally offer sports betting services, creating a market monopoly.
Despite this, there are still a number of heavily-used overseas betting sites. Although this may be considered illegal, sites still accept Swiss users, and this gives punters more options when it comes to online gambling.
Bonuses From Swiss Bookmakers
There are several different bonuses offered by Swiss bookmakers, which punters can benefit from. This is a method used by almost all bookmakers to encourage new users to sign up, and for existing users to continue to play regularly. When punters register to a betting site, they will be offered a welcome bonus. Many websites offer different rewards for sports betting and casino betting, and punters can choose the one that they prefer. These bonuses usually appear grand and come in the form of free bets, free spins, or free credit that matches the amount of money they deposit for the first time. Bettors should always read the terms and conditions of these promotions to get the best deals, because although the bonuses appear large, often they have extensive wagering requirements that must be met before any actual winnings can be withdrawn.
Both local and international sites also have a number of different bonuses and promotions for existing customers. These are often tied to a specific sporting or casino event and can increase the punters’ winnings with improved odds, or free plays. These are ongoing and often change, so users should check the promotions page of their preferred betting site frequently to ensure they are not missing out on increased winnings.
Betting Features and Options in Swiss Bookmakers
Betting sites must thrive in a competitive market, and do anything they can to gain an edge over other vendors. Here are some of the most common features that Swiss bettors can experience, all designed to improve their gambling experience:
Available Payment Methods
There are a number of payment methods that are widely accepted by Swiss betting sites. Most popular are credit and debit cards, e-wallets such as Neteller and Skrill, and instant bank transfer. These methods are usually free and immediate. Punters can also use bank wires, although this method can take up to a few days to clear. Although the government is putting pressure on internet providers to block international, unlicensed betting sites, banks can still efficiently process payments to and from these illegal betting sites, so punters do not need to worry about that.
The currency used in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). The good news for Swedish bettors is that this is accepted at several different betting sites, not just local ones. If punters come across a website that does not accept CHF for bets, the punter must convert their deposits before they can bet. Although most sites will offer this service, they will usually charge high conversion rates, and the punter loses out. Swiss bettors should always check that the site they are looking to bet with accepts the local currency, avoiding this.
Mobile Betting in Switzerland
Mobile betting is becoming increasingly popular, and betting sites are catering to demand. Most large betting sites will offer a corresponding app, where punters can access all of the services that are found on the desktop site. Most apps are free to download on Apple, Windows and Android devices, so everyone can use them. This allows punters to bet anywhere, anytime, freedom that not many punters had before online gambling and these apps.
If bettors do not want to download a betting app, most sites also offer a mobile version of their desktop site. This alters the main site to make it more accessible and easier to use on mobile devices, but does not require downloading, or taking up storage space on your device.
Online casinos are legal in Switzerland, and there are a number of different competing vendors that offer these betting services. Punters can play a range of card games, games of pure chance like roulette and slots, as well as live casino games, where they can play against other punters around the globe.
Leading Sports for Betting in Switzerland
Sports betting has been a popular pastime in Switzerland, even before it was legalized online. Here are some of the most popular sporting markets that are offered to Swiss punters:
Football is the most popular sport in the world, and while the Swiss like to play it, they also like to bet on it. Because of its global popularity, this is often the most significant betting market on any site, and punters can browse the range of local and international games, as well as choose from the different types of betting that are available.
- Ice Hockey
The cold winter weather in Switzerland is perfect for ice sports such as ice hockey. The fast-paced game is a favourite among punters, and local sites offer full coverage of lower-level tournaments and championships, not just international games.
- Winter Sports
This is another betting category that is perfect for the cold Swiss climate. Betting on these sports peaks around the Winter Olympics, but other competitions are more frequent, that punters can also bet on. Most sites will offer a range of different winter sports betting options, for events like skiing, tobogganing and snowboarding.
One of the best tennis players in the world, Roger Federer hails from Switzerland, so it is no surprise that this sport is vast for betting. The country shows off their patriotic nature when he has a match, but the sport as a whole also experiences popularity on gambling sites. While some websites offer to bet on local games, international championships such as the famous Wimbledon and French Open are widely covered in-depth for punters.
- Boxing and MMA
This is an up and coming sport in Switzerland, but punters have been drawn to it. Events are always full of adrenaline, and can often go either way when it comes to the fighters. Although international events garner more interest within the country, this is slowly shifting as more people pay attention to local fights and fighters.
The Profile of a Swiss Bettor
The average swiss bettor is likely to be male, although a significant number of women also like to gamble online in Switzerland. The rate of online gambling is increasing, although many punters still frequent brick and mortar establishments.
The most common forms of gambling are lotteries and sports betting, with punters who engage in these types of betting being over the age of 50.
Is online betting legal in Switzerland?
Yes, online betting is legal in Switzerland. Punters can place bets on sites that are local and licensed in one of the country’s cantons.
Are there any taxes for Swiss players on their winnings?
Punters will be taxed on gambling winnings from sports betting and lotteries, only if the winnings exceed CHF1 million. Anything below this is not subject to taxation.
Can I open an account and play in CFH?
Yes, there are several different local and international betting sites that accept CFH as a currency to bet with.
Can I bet on sites that do not accept CFH?
Yes, all sites that do not accept local currency will usually offer currency conversion services. Punters can still open an account, but they will need to convert their deposits before they can place bets.
Are there any betting restrictions for Swiss players?
Currently, the only sites that Swiss players can legally bet on are ones that are based in Switzerland and are licensed to offer their services to the Swiss population. Punters cannot bet on international sites, although this does occur.
Is it safe to bet on international sites?
Swiss punters have been betting on international gambling sites, even before online gambling was considered legal. While there are several safe, reputable sites to bet on, punters should be aware that when they do this, they have no legal protection if anything goes wrong.
The Swiss government has recently recognized that online gambling has been occurring despite it being technically illegal, and have decided to at least earn taxes from it. By legalizing it, the government can profit from it, and punters can continue to bet, knowing that if they bet on licensed sites, they are legally protected from anything negative such as fraud.
In an ideal world, the Swiss government would open the legal online betting market up to foreign betting sites, giving punters more diversity and options. Realistically, people are going to continue to use these sites over the limited, government-approved local ones, and it only makes sense that the government would earn money from this activity as well. But only time will tell if they will listen to customers, or if they will continue to force the market closed.