Many forms of gambling and betting in Switzerland are legal but the situation with online play is slightly different.
Check out the need to know facts if you’re living in the country and where possible we’ve also provided a list of online betting sites where you can open a betting account.
Betting Sites For Switzerland
The following is a list of the best betting sites for residents of Switzerland:
- Loterie Romande
Note: Switzerland are currently in the process of blacklisting many foreign based betting sites and currently the only two legal sites for sports betting are the government run options listed above – it is expected in the next 6-24 months that foreign sites will re-enter the market on a licensed basis but for now that is not the case.
Key Facts: Online Gambling In Switzerland
- Article 106 of Switzerland’s Federal Constitution dictates all gambling law.
- Land based gambling is legal where providers are licenced.
- Legal gambling age is 18+.
- Online gambling is illegal unless provider has a licence.
- Overseas betting sites widely used and no prosecutions brought against players for using them.
Gambling Laws and Legislation Timeline
The following timeline traces the development of Swiss gambling law, by describing the various different pieces of relevant legislation passed over the years:
1923 – Federal Act on Lotteries and Commercial Betting
The Federal Act on Lotteries and Commercial Betting is the primary piece of legislation related to the operation of lotteries, sports betting and other similar activities in Switzerland. Article 33 of the act generally prohibits the professional provision of betting services related to sports events. The only exceptions to this relate to the right of cantons to provide licences for the provision of pari-mutuel betting at certain local live sporting events.
1998 – Federal Act on Games of Chance and Casinos
In Switzerland, casino games are classed as games of luck and are governed and regulated by the 1998 Federal Act on Games of Chance and Casinos. This act sets down the legal framework by which such games can be legally provided in Switzerland within land-based establishments. It also stipulates, however, that it is illegal to provide them online.
2012 – Article 106 of Federal Constitution
Adopted by a public vote in 2012, Article 106 of the Swiss Federal Constitution fully codifies the situation regarding gambling in Swiss law. The article clearly sets out the legal situation and states that cantons are responsible for granting gambling licences and for the supervising of gambling activities, sports betting and games of skill. The article also stipulates that its remit extends to:
2019 – Swedish Gambling Act
Passed in early 2019 but didn’t come into affect until July 1st the Swedish Gambling act essentially legalised online gambling in the country but set out a framework under which Swiss authorities could block overseas based gambling providers. Operators must now pay tax to Switzerland and take measures to protect online gambling addicts.
That act would fully Amongst its other actions would be to make all winnings from gambling tax-exempt, which is currently not the case in Switzerland.
Do Players Get Taxed On Winnings?
It used to be the case that Swiss residents or those living abroad but still paying taxes to the Swizz government would have to pay tax on gambling winnings (online or offline).
These taxes were based on cantons but have since been replaced by a tax on operators not players(*) with anyone providing land based gambling services to players in Switzerland having to pay a base rate of 40% tax and anyone providing online services a base rate of 20% (rates can rise as high as 80% based on government discretion).
*Players are more or less in the clear when it comes to tax on winnings however taxes may be due if winnings exceed 1,000,000 CHF in any one calendar year.
Online Deposit Options & Methods
The provision of online gambling is now legal in Switzerland assuming you are using a licensed provider – many are available as per our list of recommended Swiss betting sites above.
As such, Swiss punters can freely deposit to these and can do so through any method of their choice. Swiss banks do not block bank transfers or card payments to gambling sites, making these readily available deposit methods, whilst e-wallet services offer an added degree of privacy and security if desired.