Active players: 1,684,000
Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)
Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse racing, casino, poker, lotteries
Operator types: State lotteries, land-based casinos, Sporttip & fixed odds betting terminals operated by Swisslos
Designated authority: Swiss Federal Gaming Board
Status: Grey market, betting on online companies is not regulated
Switzerland is famed for its stunning landscapes, friendly people and self-reliant independent culture. The Swiss are not only some of the world’s highest earners but also fairly egalitarian in terms of income and politics. This is directly projected on gambling as well, as contrary to other countries, all economic and social classes share the same interest in sports betting. Furthermore, the Swiss federal government fully respects its citizens’ opinion on how gambling should be regulated, going as far as holding a referendum in June 2018 that resulted in action for massive legislative overhaul.
- Although Internet betting is not legally permitted, there are no repercussions for joining an online betting site in Switzerland
- A referendum was held in June 2018, where 87% of all citizens voted yes on a new Gambling Act
- Many foreign betting sites are highly localized for the Swiss market by accepting CHF and offering their sites in German, French and Italian
- You are free to access any international betting site, provided that you are at least 18 years of age
- Your banking options are nearly limitless as Swiss banks freely transact with all gambling companies
Best betting sites in Switzerland
Betting in Switzerland
Betting in Switzerland bears many similarities to other central European countries, like Germany and Austria as no specific legislation prohibits players from punting online. 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.
Is sports betting legal in Switzerland?
Sports betting is split between online sites and land-based betting that is provided by the local state-backed operator Swisloss. Technically, a land & online state monopoly exists, however, very few bettors actually choose Swisloss to place their bets, as most players prefer UKGC and MGA licensed bookmakers. In purely legal terms, betting on foreign betting sites is still considered illegal, however, no action has been taken to punish any players, while banks and internet service providers are not required to restrict transactions or access on these bookies.
Is there a tax on gambling winnings in Switzerland?
All gambling winnings above CHF1,000 are taxable in all 26 Cantons in Switzerland. In the case of Swisloss, lotteries, horse tracks and any of the 19 brick-and-mortar casinos it amounts to 35%. The tax is automatically deducted from your total winnings and can be reclaimed on your tax return. Gambling winnings earned online are seldom declared by Swiss players as they are unofficially considered tax-free.
Betting laws in Switzerland
The current iGaming legislation was set in 1998 when the first online betting sites started to make their appearance. Seeing that online gambling has vastly changed during these past 20 years, the Swiss federal government judged that an overhaul was in order and held a referendum in June 2018, where changes were overwhelmingly approved.
The most significant alterations will include a higher cap on taxable winnings, that will start from CHF1,000,000 and strict measures with the aim to terminate the influence of non-Suisse bookmakers. According to the new Swiss Gaming Act (Geldspielgesetz), the government will implement ISP blocks, block third-party marketing attempts, limit banking transactions and outright ban foreign betting sites that do not hold a Switzerland gambling license. It is also projected that stricter implementations will take place regarding the Switzerland minimum gambling age, as currently minors are not prohibited from obtaining lottery tickets and scratch cards.
Which betting companies offer a sign-up bonus in Switzerland?
Most foreign betting sites that accept Swiss players will also offer a sign-up bonus upon registration. The most well-known betting sites with such welcome offers include Bet365, 1xbet, Unibet and Interwetten. If you are looking for a new betting site or a handsome welcome bonus, then gaining an exclusive sign up offer is the surest way of getting such a bargain. Bookmakersbet has secured the best exclusive bonus offers for Swiss players that can be claimed right after you register a new account. Remember to click on the “Visit” button right below and enter the special bonus code.
Can I bet with Swiss Franc?
Many bookies that cater to players in Switzerland will allow bettors to deposit and withdraw using Swiss Franc. As of Q1 2019, these Swiss Sportsbooks include but are not limited to:
18bet, 1xbet, 22bet, Betwinner, Melbet, Bwin, Expekt, Intertops, Interwetten, Sportingbet, William Hill, Unibet, Betvictor and Bet-at-home. Ladbrokes also accept the use of Swiss Franc, however, they will only do so in Liechtenstein, as they do not offer their sportsbook in Switzerland.
Seeing that betting in Switzerland is still a free-for-all, the government has yet to pressure the local banks and payment providers to restrict transactions to any betting sites. This means that you can still use nearly every transaction method of your convenience.
The most common deposit methods are without doubt credit cards, e-wallets and banking options like Sofort, TWINT and other subsidiaries from the Swiss Infrastructure and Exchange group that are connected directly to your bank account.
Even if you don’t feel like using an iGaming payment method like Skrill or Neteller, you can still use any of the dozens of Swiss and international financial institutions to send money to your bank account. Everyday transaction methods include EasyPay, PostFinance, and UBS.
Bet on the top Swiss Bookmakers for 2019
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Here you can check the most common questions concerning the betting sites in Switzerland. This section is updated according to the recent legislation change and any questions sent from you to us through the live chat and support email.
Q: Do I have to pay any fees for depositing & withdrawing online?
Some Swiss banks and credit card issuers consider charges from lotteries, casinos and betting services as cash advances. Others have a special fee for such transactions while certain payment methods do not charge a fee. Here is an overview of gambling fees charged by Swiss issuers:
Swisscard AECS (Credit Suisse, Coop Supercardplus)
Lottery, betting and casino transactions are treated as cash advances. The cash advance fee is currently equal to 3.75% of each transaction, with a minimum fee of CHF5 in Switzerland or CHF10 abroad.
Lottery (exceptions: Swisslos, Loterie Romande) and casino (gambling) transactions are subject to a fee equal to 4% of each transaction, up to a maximum fee of CHF100 per transaction.
Bonuscard (including Libertycard)
Lottery (exceptions: Swisslos, Loteria Romande), betting and casino charges are treated as cash advances (3.75% cash advance fee). The only difference is that the minimum fee of CHF5 (Switzerland) or CHF10 (abroad) which applies to cash advances does not apply to gambling transactions.
Lottery (exception: Swisslos), betting and casino transactions are counted as cash advances. The cash advance fee is 3.75% (minimum CHF10) per withdrawal.
No gambling transaction fee (according to Postfinance representatives).
No gambling transaction fee (according to Viseca representatives).
Cembra Money Bank (Migros Cumulus)
No gambling transaction fee (according to Cembra Money Bank representatives).
Q: Do I have to pay any foreign transaction & exchange fees?
It is important to note that when you use your credit card to pay for foreign betting, lottery or casino services on online gambling operators, you pay a foreign transaction fee. This fee currently ranges between 1.2% and 2.5% of each transaction, depending on which credit card you use. You also pay a foreign currency exchange on sites that do not accept Swiss Franc. Thankfully, there are alternatives to depositing on betting sites in Switzerland. For example, you can use Skrill, Neteller, Paysafecard, Paypal or any other wallet.
Q: Do I have to declare my gambling winnings?
Any amount won at online Swiss casinos or gambling sites is tax-free and does not count towards your taxable income. However, it might be a good idea to provide proof of your winnings (copies of receipts, for example), or at least a basic written declaration of your casino or betting winnings on your tax return. Doing this can prevent misunderstandings about the source of any additional income.
Q: When will the new Gambling Act be enforced?
The Geldspielgesetz has been drafted and approved by the Swiss federal government and will be put into effect in January 1, 2019. A six-month auditing & licensing period that will last until July 1, 2019 will allow foreign bookmakers to apply for a local license. After this period has passed, the Swiss Federal Gaming Board will proceed to ISP blocks, blocking third-party marketing attempts, limiting banking transactions on unlicensed betting sites and ultimately banning them.