The Swiss people have a long history with casinos and gambling, in general. Since Reformation times, more conservative citizens believed that gambling was sinful and should be removed from society. Nowadays, there are almost 20 land-based casinos in the country, and they don’t seem to be going anywhere.
The first land-based casino came still in the 19th century, but laws on the issue have changed a lot over time. Switzerland has tricky and rather tight legislation on gambling. So, this article aims to assist you in your search for the best CH casinos for your favourite pastimes.
Yes, absolutely. A few years ago, Swiss voters passed the Federal Act of Money Games. Online casinos are allowed to operate, provided they partner with a land-based casino in the country. Also, it forbids foreign operators to cater to national residents. This law is enforced by ordering internet providers to restrain access to those platforms.
This regulatory model is known as a “ring-fenced market.” Land-based casinos have been legal in Switzerland since 1933, but it took a long time for online casinos to enjoy the same legal status.
The activity was only regulated and legalized in 2018, but rules are still restrictive compared to other countries. Offshore gambling remains illegal, for instance. Yet, there are so many tools to bypass the digital blockage that it’s often tricky to enforce this prohibition.
No canton is allowed to more than one each in its territory. It means that even though Swiss nationals can’t gamble offshore, there’s still a wealth of online casinos to choose from. Switzerland is home to 19 land-based casinos and 11 horse racing tracks.
Reviews of the best 3 casinos in Switzerland
Educate your choices. Here, you’ll find short reviews on the best CH casinos online available to Swiss gamblers at the moment.
Refuel Casino was launched in 2020, and it’s already a relevant competitor in the online casino world. It’s a no-account platform with partnerships with some of the best providers worldwide. Leading partners include NetEnt, Play’n Go, and Evolution Gaming.
Refuel Casino is registered in Malta and operates in five languages: English, French, German, Norwegian, and Finnish. Refuel is a medium-size online casino and should be ready to pay out substantial winnings without any problems.
This casino has an extensive live casino section. Here, players will find countless rooms offering all sorts of table games around the clock. The platform is completely optimized for mobile gaming.
Visit the website and try some of the available games for free. The platform is easy to navigate. All options are clearly laid out, games are easy to find, and the platform as a whole runs smoothly.
Refuel Casino supports a wide range of payment methods. These include Visa, Neteller, and Skrill. It also provides comprehensive customer services via live chat, phone, and email. However, the live chat and phone options are only available during business hours.
AmOk Casino is a newborn platform, as it was established in 2021. Anyway, it comes with muscles and attractions of well-seasoned platforms. Malta Gaming Authority licenses amOk Casino, which is operated by Infiniza Limited.
AmOk Casino is a Disneyland for slots lovers, with more than 3,000 titles on the menu. There are plenty of table games and a varied live dealer section with more than 200 rooms, powered by Evolution Gaming. Apart from the classics, this section offers Crazy Time, Mega Ball, and Monopoly Live.
AmOk Casino was designed with a mobile-first approach. So, it’s tailor-made for those who enjoy playing on the go. This platform works with more than 80 top-quality providers.
The user experience is great at AmOk’s website, which is a very well designed and organized one. It supports five languages: English, German, French, Finnish, and Norwegian. Customer services are available via phone, email, and live chat, around the clock.
It accepts 19 payment methods, including Visa, ecoPayz, and Paysafecard. Withdrawals have a daily limit of €10,000, or approximately CHF 10,500. However, withdrawals may take between one and five business days to be cleared.
Mount Gold is another online casino from the 2021 harvest. Like AmOk Casino, Mount Gold is licensed by Malta Gaming Authority and comes packed with opportunities. The platform offers over 4,000 games selected from more than 90 providers.
The live dealer section has over 200 rooms, including Deal or No Deal, Monopoly Live, and Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt. This casino also has an enviable slots selection, including jackpot games, megaways, and a wealth of table games.
Speaking of jackpot games, Mount Gold has more than 50 of those on offer. There’s also a wide variety of speciality games, like craps, video poker, and keno.
Mount Gold is completely mobile-friendly and compatible with all mobile devices. You can opt between downloading the casino’s app or playing right on the browser on your mobile device. Games can be filtered by name and provider. So, it’s very easy to find the games you want.
Customer services are available around the clock, in five languages, like Refuel and AmOk.
It supports 19 payment methods, and withdrawals are cleared within five days. Withdrawals are subject to a daily limit between EUR 5,000 and EUR 10,000.
Few steps to consider before depositing at any CH casino
Know Your Priorities
Those who don’t know where they’re going are always lost. There are only so many online casinos out there, so you need to know what you’re looking for. Depending on if you’re after a specific game or the best bonuses, your search may point you to different casinos.
Do the Legwork
There’s plenty of fish in the sea, but not all of them are worth fishing. You may find your favourite game on many different platforms. Compare bonus schemes, providers, banking methods before making up your mind.
Pay a Visit
There’s no better way to evaluate a casino than seeing it yourself. Load the main page and navigate around, checking games and options. Additionally, try some free games and collect all the information you can think about bonuses.
Get a Free Ride
Some casinos grant no-deposit bonuses, which are pretty much what the name says. These casinos give free cash for new players to try it. This kind of bonus is much lower than welcome offers but lets you taste the real deal without scratching your pocket.
The More, the Better
Some casinos are better for slots, while others have lavish live dealer rooms. Anyway, no bonus scheme is like the other. So, signing up for a handful of casinos can help you enjoy the best of all worlds and make more accurate comparisons.
Follow the Money
Never forget to check the payment methods of an online casino before joining it. Moreover, check processing times for deposits and withdrawals and fees and limits. This kind of information is readily available in most casino reviews.
New Online Casinos in Switzerland
Online casinos were prohibited in the country until 2018. So, pretty much every online casino is new to Swiss players. Although new online casinos are coming out every month, an online casino must have a partnership Swiss-based brick-and-mortar casino.
Yet, there are plenty of new players in the market. AmOk Casino, Mount Gold, and Refuel Casino are fantastic platforms released less than two years ago. New online casinos tend to be mobile-oriented, bringing the latest games and modern payment options.
The best ones are outlined below to don’t miss the hottest news.
5 New online casinos that will accept players from Switzerland
Gambling is a prevalent habit in the country, and slots are:
Lucky Lady’s Charm Deluxe
The Book of Ra
Super Cherry 2000
Cherry Trio – iSoftBet
Few fruits are so iconic for slots lovers than cherries. These little red delights have been there since the early days, and cherry-themed gamed can hardly go wrong. Everything in this game transpires nostalgia: from a 3×3 grid with only five paylines to the neon, retro looks.
Betting limits are high for this vintage-looking game, but easy players are welcome. The top prize is 1,000x the initial bet. Symbols include a Cherry, a Bar symbol, and a diamond. The RTP rate for classic is 96.3%.
Starburst – NetEnt
Here’s another title for classic slots lovers. The space theme inspires colourful symbols and extraordinary graphics. All symbols are gems, and the action happens on a 5×3 grid over a deep-blue background.
The gameplay is pretty straightforward: there are ten paylines, with a maximum win of 100x the initial bet. The RTP rate for this game is 96.09%, which sits it between middle and high volatility games.
Lucky Lady’s Charm Deluxe – Novomatic
Before gaining its online version, Lucky Lady’s Charm was already a popular option in land-based casinos. Now, fans can enjoy this game at home, risking a maximum win of 27,000x the initial stake.
The game has a 5×3 grid, ten paylines, and an RTP rate of 95.13%, making it a high volatility game. Lucky Lady’s Charm is one of Novomatic’s most popular games, along with The Book of Ra.
The Book of Ra was launched in 2005, but it’s proved a timeless classic. It’s hard to get tired of Egyptian-themed games. This one got the whole package: sacred symbols, loads of unique features, engaging gameplay.
The game runs on a 5×3 grid, with nine paylines and an RTP rate of 92.13%. Lucky winners bring home 25,000x their initial bets. Special features include “Gamble” and free spins.
Super Cherry 2000 – Novomatic
This cherry game also appeals to the memories of the old one-armed bandits. Like the old-fashioned machines, it has a 3×3 grid and only one payline. There are plenty of fruits in the game: ten symbols, seven of which are fruits.
The game has an RTP rate of 94.5% and a maximum payout of 2,000x. Albeit simple, this game has three unique features. Keep the Feature, Stepped Feature, and Cherry Step Feature.
Casino games have been popular in the country for a long time. The oldest Switzerland casino , is the Casino Barriere de Montreux, dates 1881. So, Swiss gamblers developed a natural taste for classic casino games over the years.
Timeless classics like roulette, blackjack, and poker never go out of fashion in the alpine country.
Poker: Texas Hold’em remains the most popular variation of this game, but it’s possible to find many others in Swiss casinos, both instant and live.
Roulette: Roulette is arguably the most emblematic casino there is. The game has been there since the first land-based casinos. Hollywood movies have made them even more popular.
Blackjack: Also called 21, this game has French origins and poker in popularity. Blackjack is a mandatory presence in any casino’s catalogue.
eSports: The name is short for “electronic sports” and consists of organized videogames competitions. eSports include virtual versions of authentic sports and also MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games, like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Switzerland Sports Betting Sites
The sports betting and lottery sections remain state-owned, and each canton can only have two lotteries: the Loterie Romande and Swisslos. It means that Swiss online casinos won’t offer the variety of lotteries and sportsbooks as some offshore platforms do. Both companies monopolize the sports betting market in the country.
Loterie Romande and Swisslos operate the brands Jouez Sports, and Sporttip. Both brands provide online and mobile betting options. Payments with credit or debit cards in any online gambling platform pay fees ranging between 1.2% and 2.5%.
There are few kinds of bets available, but a full range of sports to choose from. Still, some bets are only allowed at the event’s location. Horse racing is the most popular sport for betting, and there are 11 racing tracks across the country.
Due to the lack of options, many Swiss punters resort to offshore sportsbooks. Several offshore sportsbooks welcome Swiss players, but a VPN may be needed because of the Act of Money Games. Still, no one has ever been prosecuted for using an offshore platform to bet on sports.
Did You Know? 2013 was a lucky year for quite a few Swiss gamblers.
In January, a couple scored a CHF 1,789,687, playing slots. The life-changing winning was made at St. Gallen Casino. Four months later, six fat jackpots were hit within four days.
Different people hit the jackpots, but the amount won and how close to each other they came out is what’s really impressive. Hot Spot Platinum 5 awarded a CHF 23,852 jackpot during a single weekend, while the Zuri Jackpot awarded CHF 40,235.
One player took home 1kg of solid gold on Sunday. The week started grand for the person who won CHF 136,645 on Monday. About 1.18 million people gamble regularly in the country, representing about 12% of the Swiss population.
Most Popular Casino Payment Methods in Switzerland
Check below for a brief description of Swiss gamblers’ most used payment methods.
Neteller is one of the most popular e-wallets worldwide. It’s a highly convenient option for online payments. Neteller allows users to transfer and store funds and online purchases.
The service allows users to make payments without personal or banking information. For this reason, it’s also a trendy choice among Swiss gamblers regarding payment methods.
Visa, along with Mastercard, is the largest payment processing network globally. It’s used in more than 200 countries, and it’s difficult to find a place that doesn’t accept it. Credit and debit cards of this network are equally popular.
Recently, Visa has launched a new service, which allows users to make payments with cryptocurrencies. This service is the result of the partnership between Visa and Crypto.com.
Paysafecard is a prepaid card, and it was created for online transactions. It creates 16-digit PIN-coded vouchers, which emulate regular debit cards. These cards can be bought in authorized shops without requiring personal information.
Paysafecard belongs to the Paysafe Group. This group has acquired its main competitors, Skrill (2013) and Neteller (2015).
Cryptocurrencies still lack proper regulation in Switzerland. Meanwhile, cryptos remain “non-illegal” in the country, a status that extends to online gambling. It means that Swiss gamblers can play with cryptos, and they certainly do.
Bitcoin is the most famous of cryptos, but many others are around. Crypto users often enjoy faster withdrawals than more traditional methods.
The Swiss Gambling Supervisory Authority (Gespa) oversees sports betting, lottos, and skill-based games. Until January 1, 2021, it was branded Comlot. Gespa has powers conceded by the Act of Money Games to manage land-based and online gambling.
Gespa has licensed only two companies to operate in the country: Loterie Romande and Swisslos. Both companies are national and also provide sports betting. While Swisslos mostly operates in German-speaking cantons, Loterie Romande is prevalent on the French-speaking side.
Swisslos operates the Sporttip sports betting program, and Loterie Romande’s program is called JouezSport. Both provide Pari-Mutuel Urbain for their horse racing bets. Both organizations are allowed to provide mobile sports betting options.
Gespa’s website provides detailed descriptions of the gambling activities it oversees. Private games, such as small poker tournaments our family games, aren’t subjected to the Gambling Act. However, these games must meet certain criteria to be considered as such, like no charging entry fees and not being commercially run.
Sales-promotion games, like short-duration lotteries, and media prize competitions, aren’t supervised by Gespa either, nor any Swiss authority. So, extra caution is advised in those cases.
Switzerland-Specific Gambling Restrictions
Gambling laws are overseen by SGGB (Swiss General Gaming Board), which also supervises casinos and enforces the current legislation. Swiss laws divide games into games of chance and arcade games. Games of chance are restricted to casinos only.
Online casinos in Switzerland must have a land-based partner to be allowed to operate in the country. The new rule came in 2018, overturning a prohibition imposed since 1998.
Anyway, sports betting and horse racing can only be organized by state-owned companies. Loterie Romande and Swisslos are also the only companies authorized to provide mobile betting. For this reason, many Swiss punters choose to bet on offshore sportsbooks, regardless of restrictions.
Those companies provide on-site and online forms of betting. Since 1998, Switzwerland casinos have been divided into two categories:
Category A: casinos with an unlimited number of slot machines
Category B: casinos limited to 150 slot machines
Category A Casinos – Cantons
Category B Casinos – Cantons
Granges – Paccot
Gambling Taxes in Switzerland
Gambling winnings aren’t taxable in Switzerland, apart from some cases. Games that aren’t executed automatically, known as “small games”, are tax-free. However, such exemption is only applicable if the winning occurred on a registered cantonal venue.
Games of skill and lotteries are also exempted from taxation for winnings up to CHF 1 million. It also applies to winnings made at land-based casinos, sportsbooks, and games of skill. Full taxation applies to winnings coming from unlicensed, offshore platforms.
Lottery winnings are taxed even before getting to the winner’s hands. The lottery company retains 35% of the prize, money that goes to the Federal Tax Administration. Anyway, this tax can be reclaimed back once you declare you include your winning in your tax return.
Income tax rates vary from a canton to another and must be paid by the end of every year. Some players change their canton of residence to less heavily-taxed ones to save money.
Others go to extreme lengths and even move abroad if winnings are high enough to justify such a measure. Yet, it only works if the target country holds tax agreements with the Swiss government.
History of Gambling in Switzerland
Gambling is a habit as old as time for Swiss nationals.
The first land-based casino built in the country was the Casino Barriere de Montreux, by the banks of Lake Geneva, back in 1881. However, much older references can be found in Calvin’s preachings during the Reformation in the 16th century.
Calvin preached against “playing for gold and silver,” but gambling in small amounts was largely allowed. The activity had several ups and downs throughout the country’s history, alternating between legalization and criminalization.
Gambling was prohibited in 1921, only to be legalized again in 1933, although with restrictions. One of the main restrictions pertained to betting limits. Most of those restrictions were lifted, with Federal Law on Games of Chance and Casinos, a couple of years later.
Lotteries were prohibited along with other games of chance in 1921. Although the prohibition on lotteries has never been lifted, cantons can set up their own lotteries. Online gambling (in particular, casinos) remained illegal until 2018. The Federal Act of Money Games has finally changed this situation for the best. Online casinos in Switzerland are now allowed, as long as they partner up with land-based ones. Although this law limits the number of online casinos on offer, Swiss gamblers can’t complain about a lack of high-quality options.
Switzerland Gambling Addictions Help
Over 70,000 players were banned from Swiss casinos until the end of last year. In 2020, 10,870 gamblers were banned, in comparison with 4,836, in 2019. The high numbers include land-based and online casinos and represent a symptom of problematic gambling.
About 3% of the Swiss population has problems with gambling addiction or are on the verge of having it. That’s why the Swiss government, represented by Gespa, demands casinos and large-scale betting operators to provide social protection to their players.
Gespa also assesses the addictive potential of games. Based on the results, it can also impose more restrictive measures on these games. There are helplines for German speakers, French speakers, and Italian speakers.
It’s also possible to find help online, getting treatment and counselling about the problem of gambling. Those websites are also available in German, French, and Italian. According to the Gambling Concordat, the Loterie Romand and Swisslos must direct 0.5% of their revenues to the fight against gambling addiction.
Additionally, it’s possible to find appointed commissioners in every canton. Those commissioners are united in the KKBS (Conference of Cantonal Delegates for Addiction-Related Issues). Here’s a list of a few organizations running intercantonal programs.
Association of Eastern Swiss Cantons (Ostschweizer Verbund) Appenzell Innerrhoden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Glarus, Graubünden, Thurgau, St. Gallen.
Intercantonal Program of French-Speaking Switzerland (PILDJ) Freiburg, Genève, Jura, Neuchatêl, Vaud, Valais.
Prevention Program of the Canton of Ticino (Präventionsprogramm des Kantons Tessin) Prevention Program of the Canton of Zurich (Präventionsprogramm des Kantons Zürich)
Yes, online gambling has been legal in the country since 2018. However, the Swiss government tightly regulated the market through the Swiss Gambling Supervisory Authority (Gespa).
The Swiss government regulates the activity through the Swiss Gambling Supervisory Authority (Gespa). The Loterie Romande and Swisslos are the only two authorized lotteries by Gespa
Slots are undoubtedly the most love games among Swiss gamblers. However, casino staples never get old. Games like blackjack, baccarat, poker, and roulette remain trendy.
The biggest lottery win to date came in 2013 when a Swiss national won the Euro Millions, bringing home CHF 114 million.
Authorities estimate that about 20% of the Swiss population gamble regularly, or 1.18 million people.
Processing times may vary from one casino to another and from one payment method. Typically, the best online casinos release withdrawals within five business days.
Swiss gamblers can enjoy 19 brick-and-mortar casinos and 11 racetracks distributed across the 26 cantons.
Only two companies are allowed to run sports betting in Switzerland. Swisslos, and Loterie Romande operate Sporttip and Jouez Sport, respectively.
The short answer is “no”, but there are conditions to be met. Winnings can’t figure over CHF 1 million and must be won at one of the Swiss-licenced platforms. Prizes above CHF 1 million have 35% retained on the source.
Despite its ring-fenced model for managing online casinos, Swiss regulators still manage to provide plenty of top-notch options to national punters. There are many casinos to choose from which are officially licensed to operate in the country. Still, there are even more casinos welcoming Swiss nationals on offshore platforms.
Online casino lovers enjoy much more variety than sports betting fans, which can only resort to two organizations at a national level. Anyway, the state-owned companies overseeing the sector provide a decent range of options. Gambling winnings are tax-free, as long as the value exceeds CHF 1 million.
Many argue that the tight laws concerning gambling are a necessary evil that helps prevent much bigger problems. Unregulated markets are fertile grounds for financial crimes, scams, and predatory practices from ill-intended companies.
That’s why we always recommend our readers run a detailed background check before joining a new online casino. Double-check licenses, jurisdictions, banking methods, and security systems.
Never risk funds you can’t afford to lose and seek help early. Trustworthy casinos should assist you in limiting your gambling sessions, your losses and direct you to professional counselling. Above all, know your limits and gamble responsibly.