Active players: 1.500.000
Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)
Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse racing, casino, lotteries
Operator types: State lotteries, land-based and online casinos, online sports betting monopoly (Swisslos and Loterie Romande under the brands of ‘Sporttip’ and ‘Jouez Sport’)
Designated authority: Swiss Gambling Supervisory Authority (Gespa)
The Swiss Confederation is a Central European country, famous for its armed neutrality policy and its robust economy. It consists of 26 cantons, each of them still being very independent in every aspect of life. As for sports, they have always been part of the local culture. Tennis legend Roger Federer is still a worldwide top athlete, while football is also very popular.
Moreover, the federal government fully respects its citizens' opinion on various issues; like the regulation of gambling in Switzerland. On June 10, 2018, it held a referendum which citizens eventually voted in its favor. That resulted in the establishment of a new relatively strict gambling law. However, despite the eventual local monopoly by Swisslos and Loterie Romande, online betting in Switzerland is still pretty versatile. As a result, many local players still prefer to bet on renowned international bookmakers.
Betting in Switzerland - 5 things to know
- The legal gambling age in Switzerland is 18
- There are no reports of prosecuting players who bet on foreign bookmakers
- Each canton is responsible for granting licenses and supervising gambling activities
- All gambling winnings below CHF 1.000.000 are tax free
- Internet service providers are directed to block access to unlicensed betting sites
Best betting sites in Switzerland
Here you can find the best betting sites Switzerland has to offer. In order to select them, we compared their odds and payout on major sports, as well as the number of markets and offers they included.
Online betting in Switzerland - The law framework
The first gambling legislation was introduced in 1998, when betting sites were vividly springing up. With many changes over the online sector in the past 20 years, the government judged that an overhaul was mandatory. So, it held a referendum in June 2018 over a new piece of legislation. In turn, it led to the implementation of the current Money Gaming Act.
The most significant changes included a higher cap on taxable winnings. Plus, the allocation of net winnings from sports betting must exclusively be done for charitable purposes. Measures are also in place with the aim to terminate the influence of non Swiss betting sites. In that scope, the latest provisions of the law included the ordering of ISP blocks on unlicensed operators. Also, there’s a ban on foreign betting sites that do not hold a local valid gambling license.
Moreover, the Intercantonal Lottery and Betting Board (Comlot), rebranded itself. It is now known as the Swiss Gambling Supervisory Authority (Gespa). It has been releasing a blacklist ever since, containing all -locally- illegal operators. The latest came out in October 2021.
Betting in Switzerland consists of online sites and brick and mortar betting shops. They run under the two local state-run operators, Swisslos and Loterie Romande. These operate under the brands of Sporttip and Jouez Sport. Technically, there’s a state monopoly in place, despite an existing licensing framework.
An applying Swiss betting company should be a legal entity under local laws. It should enjoy a good reputation and clearly outline its economic situation. It must also prove the lawful origin of its funds and guarantee impeccable management, among other prerequisites. So, under purely legal terms, betting on foreign online betting sites is illegal. However, no actions are taken towards players who bet on them.
Essential information for Swiss players
Betting shops are apparent in all major cities, running under Sporttip and Jouez Sport. Moreover, players placing a bet in Switzerland on foreign online bookies don’t risk prosecution. However, we advise the use of VPN software when accessing non-licensed betting sites. It is always better to have a piece of mind since, technically, it’s illegal to bet on international bookies.
As for gambling winnings, these are taxable only above CHF 1.000.000, in all 26 cantons. The sum is automatically deducted from total winnings and players may reclaim it on their tax returns. As for online gambling, Switzerland does not impose any such tax on winnings when one bets at -locally- unlicensed operators.
Bet Switzerland: Deposits and withdrawals
Swiss authorities don’t apply any specific measures on the local banking sector concerning online transactions. Swiss banks don’t block transfers or card payments to gambling sites. Therefore, funding your betting account via credit or debit card will work just fine. However, a fee applies whenever you use your credit card on online gambling operators. This currently ranges between 1.2% and 2.5% of each transaction; depending on which credit card you use.
Thankfully, there are lots of alternatives for depositing online. You can use any of the popular e-wallets like Skrill or Neteller. Also, PayPal Switzerland and Paysafecard are available too. All the aforementioned methods guarantee safe and fast transactions, with minimum fees.
Swiss bet: What the future holds
The Swiss online betting environment is evolving fast. One of the most important developments was the relatively recent introduction of a new regulatory body, GESPA. However, more appropriately said, it just continued its predecessor’s work. Not much has changed; the licensing system remains strict and the state monopoly is still in place.
Online betting in Switzerland has still much room for improvement. Operators are weighing their options, among a rather strict set of rules and a relatively small market. The next few years will show if the state actually wants international betting sites to hold licenses or not.
Complete list of Switzerland bookmakers
Now that you have a full picture of the local betting market; we list all betting sites Switzerland players can bet with. Check them out and pick what’s best for you.
The latest gambling law clearly dictates that in order to participate in online gambling, you must choose an operator with a local license. However, players aren’t prosecuted for accessing online bookies that are licensed abroad. Therefore, every single bookmaker we list in our analysis is both legal and safe.
Bet365 Suisse is one of the most popular international bookmakers. It is officially blacklisted in Switzerland; however, it can be easily accessed through mirror sites. Therefore, it accepts Swiss bettors.
No, Unibet Suisse doesn’t accept players from Switzerland, as it is one of the foreign bookmakers that decided to stop operating in the Swiss market after the latest legislative amendments.
All the blacklisted domains are published on Gespa’s website. The latest version was uploaded on October 5, 2021. You may check at the link we posted above at any given time for possible updates.
As a matter of fact Bwin Suisse was one of the first international sportsbooks to leave the local betting market in January 2019. Therefore, it is not available to players who reside in Switzerland.
The local gambling framework takes players' safety seriously. Gespa, the local regulator, is strict in that sense. Still, when betting with unauthorized bookies; just stick to the revised, trustworthy ones that we list and no less than a safe betting experience awaits you.