Last summer, 73% of Swiss citizens voted in favor of the regulation of the online gambling market within the country. The Gambling Act that was created, came into effect from January 1 this year. According to the new regulations, only four operators are granted official licenses. The bidding process that was held earlier this year saw four land-based casinos in Switzerland obtaining them, namely Casino Davos, Grand Casino Baden, Grand Casino Luzern and Casino Zürichsee.
The new Gambling Act leaves no room for international operators that target Swiss players. By July 1 these operators must desert the Swiss Market. Well-known brands like LeoVegas, William Hill, Betway Fair, 10bet and Redbet seem to have received the message and they have already confirmed their departure. Swiss authorities won’t tolerate operators that will disrespect the new status.
Any online casino that tries to ‘free-ride’ in Switzerland will pay the price, initially by being added to a blacklist with banned domains. There is the possibility the Swiss market to decide to open again in the future for international online casinos, so the ones that will behave accordingly now, can hope for a better chance of receiving an official license in the future.
The new regulations are part of the Swiss government’s strategy to address the public health problem of gambling addiction. It is estimated that only last year, Swiss players spent CHF 250 million on gambling at unlicensed international operators. As a result, Swiss authorities will impose limitations to the sums that the players wager on casino games like poker, lotteries or raffles. Swiss players that hold accounts at the unlicensed sites won’t have to worry as the operators will grant them time to withdraw their money.
For a complete list of bookies that still accept players from the region, check out our Swiss betting sites section updated with all the latest info.