Switzerland is home to more than just stunning lakes and picturesque mountains – it also has a thriving online gambling community. If you live, work or regularly travel in Switzerland and want to know more about playing real money casino games online, read on to find out more about Switzerland’s online gambling laws and discover where you can play games using CHF at the best online casinos.
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Is online gambling legal in Switzerland?
Switzerland has an interesting history with gambling, with all forms of gambling being strictly outlawed between 1921 and 1993. After ’93, legislations relaxed a little but the ban was not completely overturned, allowing people to gamble on low stake casino games only. By 1998 the Federal Law on Games of Chance and Casinos was changed to allow unlimited stakes gambling in Switzerland casinos and today there are close to 20 land based casino spread throughout Switzerland, with gambling establishments in Zurich, Basel, Lucerne, Bern and more. National lotteries remain illegal, although state lotteries are allowed and are hugely popular. Horse racing and sports betting have also increased in popularity since the ban on gambling was lifted.
The one form of gambling that remains illegal in Switzerland is online gambling, which was outlawed under the 1998 Federal Law on Games of Chance and Casinos. The only operators licensed to offer real money online gambling are the two monopoly providers of state lottery services. However, like many other countries, there is nothing in Swiss law that prohibits foreign online casinos from offering their services to Swiss players, so many offshore casinos continue to provide real money gambling services to Switzerland.
Given the soaring popularity of online gambling and the amount of tax revenue Switzerland is missing out on by residents playing at offshore casinos, the Swiss Federal Gaming Board (SFGB) is rethinking the ban on online gambling. There is a proposed law to allow Swiss operators to receive online gambling licenses, but even if it is passed it won’t take effect until 2019. Until then, residents of Switzerland can continue to play at offshore casinos provided they’re licensed by a reputable gambling jurisdiction.
Best casino sites for Swiss players
Given Switzerland’s fairly liberal laws regarding online gambling at foreign run venues, a majority of the leading casino sites continue to cater to Swiss players, including those recommended on our site. If you’re looking for a safe place to play real money casino games online, consider these reputable Switzerland-friendly casino sites:
These sites share many dependable traits, which all online casinos must have before receiving our recommendation. They are all legally licensed and regulated by reputable offshore gambling jurisdictions, like the UK, Malta, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Alderney and Curacao. They offer an expansive range of casino games, from games of chance like the slots and scratch cards to skill-based card games like poker and blackjack, by leading software providers like NetEnt, Microgaming, BetSoft, QuickSpin, Ezugi, Evolution Gaming and many more.
Swiss players at these sites benefit from digital SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption security and are fully supported by dedicated customer service teams. Games are available for instant-play with no downloads required, including via smartphone and tablet, and can be sampled for free using practice play.
How to play for real money in Swiss francs
Swiss francs (CHF) are widely accepted at our recommended online casinos. To play for real money using CHF, sign up for an account at one of these trusted casino sites and select CHF as your chosen currency upon registration. You can also choose to play using EUR – it’s totally up to you.
Once you have an account, log in, go to the banking section and select your preferred payment method from such deposit options as Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, EntroPay, ecoPayz and direct bank transfer. Enter the amount of Swiss francs you want to deposit, then follow the prompts to complete your transaction and watch as the funds are instant credited to your casino account (except direct bank deposits, which can take a few days to process).
You can now play any online casino game offered at the site for the chance to win real money. Games on offer include slots, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, poker, scratch cards, bingo, live dealer games and more. The minimum and maximum bets allowed vary between each game and venue, with some bets starting from just a few cents and some games allowing limits in the hundreds of francs. Whether you’re a high roller or a more casual recreational player, you’ll find a real money game at an online casino that caters to your bank roll. There’s also the option of playing for free in practice mode first so you can get the feel for a game or venue before committing to a real money wager.