Switzerland: Sport betting
Betting in Switzerland bears many similarities to other central European countries, like Germany and Austria, as players are not liable to prosecution for betting online on international bookies. The main difference however from the other two DACH countries is that Switzerland is not part of the EU, meaning that gambling operators are unable to challenge any federal court rulings on grounds of free-trade inhibitions.
The Swiss are known for being one of the wealthiest nations in the world, a fact which can be attributed to the country’s efficient banking system. As the citizens practically enjoy high living standards and earn enough money to support all of their needs, it’s no wonder many of them choose to place bets on various sports events every now and then.
Is it legal to bet in Switzerland?
Switzerland had a constitutional ban on gambling in force from 1921 until the 1990s. A bill was passed in 1993 to abolish the ban and resulted in the 1998 Casinos Act being passed. This came into effect on April 1st, 2000. The Act split gambling into two sections: games of chance (which included casino games) and lotteries and betting.
The new law differentiates between automated sports betting and local sports betting. It specifically calls out online betting as part of its scope. Similar to poker, punters get a mixed bag. You can now bet on the local match at the stadium or field.
Big changes are coming to online betting in Switzerland. The country prohibited internet gambling for years (in theory as there was no enforcement), but that has all changed due to the new Money Gaming Act passed by parliament in 2017.
But your access to online bookmakers will be extremely limited. We’re hoping that Swiss casinos will create smart partnerships with some of the better names in the business. That way, you retain access to a variety of lines and odds, the bookmakers keep the market competitive, and the casinos can bring their sports betting options to the market in time. Everybody wins!
Swiss Online Sports Betting
You could summarize the legal situation as follows: online betting was illegal on paper for years, but people were doing it in great numbers anyways. Rather than institute harsher measures to put an end to online betting in Switzerland for good, the government opted to legalize and regulate the activity – provided Swiss betting sites acquire licenses to host real money games online.
In-person and online sports betting are legal in Switzerland if offered by authorized providers. Swisslos and Loterie Romande have a monopoly over sports betting at the national level and are the only two entities that may offer any form of online wagering.
Sports betting is one of the favorite forms of recreation of most Europeans. However, in Switzerland, online wagering on the outcome of sports events is yet to become popular. The country’s authorities have always been strict in regard to such gambling activities and for the most part of the 20th century, sports betting in Switzerland has been altogether prohibited.