Switzerland is a beautiful country in Central Europe, known for its neutrality, economy and culture. It is also a country where sports betting is legal and popular, especially among football and tennis fans. However, the Swiss gambling law has undergone some changes in recent years, affecting the online betting market and the options available for Swiss bettors. In this guide, we will explain everything you need to know about sports betting in Switzerland in 2023, including:
- The legal framework and regulation of sports betting
- The best Swiss betting sites and how to choose them
- The most popular sports and events to bet on
- The payment methods and currencies accepted
- The taxation and responsible gambling policies
Legal Framework and Regulation of Sports Betting
Sports betting in Switzerland is regulated by the Money Gaming Act, which was approved by a referendum in June 2018. The act aims to protect Swiss players from unlicensed and fraudulent operators, as well as to allocate the net winnings from gambling to charitable causes. The act also gives the authority to each of the 26 cantons (regions) to grant licenses and supervise gambling activities within their jurisdiction.
The main implications of the Money Gaming Act for sports betting are:
- Only licensed operators can offer online sports betting in Switzerland. These include the two state-run companies, Swisslos and Loterie Romande, which operate under the brands of Sporttip and Jouez Sport respectively. They offer online sports betting through their websites and mobile apps, as well as land-based betting shops across the country.
- Foreign operators can apply for a license to offer online sports betting in Switzerland, but only if they have a partnership with a local land-based casino. So far, only a few foreign operators have obtained a license, such as bwin, bet365 and Interwetten.
- Unlicensed operators are blocked by internet service providers (ISPs) and are prohibited from advertising or accepting Swiss players. However, there are no reports of prosecuting players who bet on foreign sites that are not blocked or use VPNs to access them.
- The legal gambling age in Switzerland is 18 years old.
Best Swiss Betting Sites and How to Choose Them
Despite the restrictions imposed by the Money Gaming Act, Swiss players still have a decent number of options when it comes to online sports betting. They can choose between the licensed local operators, which offer security, convenience and tax-free winnings, or the licensed foreign operators, which offer more variety, better odds and bigger bonuses.
To help you choose the best Swiss betting site for your needs, here are some factors to consider:
- Odds and payout: Compare the odds and payout percentages of different sites to find the best value for your bets. You can use sites like OddsJet to compare odds from the most trusted betting sites that serve Switzerland.
- Markets and offers: Check the range of sports and events that each site covers, as well as the types of bets and features they offer. Look for sites that have a wide selection of markets and offers that suit your preferences and strategies.
- Bonuses and promotions: Look for sites that have generous and fair bonuses and promotions for new and existing customers. These can include welcome bonuses, free bets, cashback, loyalty programs and more.
- Payment methods and currencies: Check the availability and fees of different payment methods and currencies that each site accepts. Look for sites that accept Swiss Francs (CHF) accounts, as well as convenient and secure payment options like bank transfers, credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay and paysafecard.
- Customer service and support: Check the quality and availability of customer service and support that each site provides. Look for sites that have friendly and professional staff that can assist you via phone, email or live chat in your preferred language (English, French, German or Italian).
Some examples of the best Swiss betting sites are:
- bet365: One of the most popular and reputable online sports betting sites in the world. It offers CHF accounts, high odds, a wide range of markets and offers, a generous welcome bonus, a user-friendly interface and excellent customer service.
- bet-at-home: A well-established European online sports betting site that offers CHF accounts, competitive odds, a good selection of markets and offers, a new sportsbook platform from EveryMatrix, a decent welcome bonus and a partnership with Schalke 04 football club.
- Interwetten: A veteran online sports betting site that offers CHF accounts, attractive odds, a diverse range of markets and offers, a sleek website design and a partnership with Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim football clubs.
Popular Sports and Events to Bet On
Switzerland is a country that loves sports, both as spectators and participants. Some of the most popular sports and events to bet on in Switzerland are:
- Football: The most popular sport in Switzerland, with a strong domestic league (the Swiss Super League) and a national team that regularly qualifies for major tournaments like the World Cup and the European Championship. Swiss players also follow and bet on the top European leagues like the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A, as well as the Champions League and the Europa League.
- Tennis: The second most popular sport in Switzerland, thanks to the legendary Roger Federer, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Swiss players also enjoy and bet on other tennis stars like Stan Wawrinka, Belinda Bencic and Martina Hingis, as well as the major tournaments like the Grand Slams, the ATP Tour and the WTA Tour.
- Ice Hockey: The third most popular sport in Switzerland, with a competitive domestic league (the National League) and a national team that often competes for medals at the World Championship and the Winter Olympics. Swiss players also follow and bet on the top international leagues like the NHL, the KHL and the SHL, as well as the Stanley Cup and the World Cup of Hockey.
- Skiing: A sport that is deeply rooted in Swiss culture and tradition, with many world-class skiers coming from Switzerland like Didier Cuche, Lara Gut, Vreni Schneider and Pirmin Zurbriggen. Swiss players also enjoy and bet on other skiing disciplines like alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping and biathlon, as well as the major events like the World Cup, the World Championship and the Winter Olympics.
Payment Methods and Currencies Accepted
As mentioned earlier, one of the factors to consider when choosing a Swiss betting site is the payment methods and currencies accepted. Ideally, you want to find a site that accepts Swiss Francs (CHF) accounts, as this will save you from currency conversion fees and exchange rate fluctuations. However, not all sites offer CHF accounts, so you may have to use other currencies like Euros (EUR) or US Dollars (USD) instead.
The most common payment methods accepted by Swiss betting sites are:
- Bank transfers: A simple and secure way to deposit and withdraw money from your betting account using your bank account. However, bank transfers may take longer to process and may incur fees from your bank or your betting site.
- Credit cards: A fast and convenient way to deposit money from your credit card to your betting account. However, credit cards may not be available for withdrawals and may incur fees from your card issuer or your betting site. Also, some credit card companies may not allow transactions with gambling sites or may treat them as cash advances, which can affect your credit score and interest rate.
- Debit cards: A similar way to credit cards, but using your debit card instead. Debit cards may have lower fees and fewer restrictions than credit cards, but they may also have lower limits and less protection in case of fraud or disputes.
- PayPal: A popular and trusted online payment service that allows you to deposit and withdraw money from your betting account using your PayPal account. PayPal offers fast transactions, low fees, high security and buyer protection. However, PayPal may not be available on all betting sites or for all currencies.
- Apple Pay: A new and innovative way to deposit money from your iPhone or Apple Watch to your betting account using your fingerprint or face ID. Apple Pay offers instant transactions, no fees, high security and privacy. However, Apple Pay may not be available on all betting sites or for all currencies.
- paysafecard: A prepaid voucher that you can buy at various outlets like kiosks, gas stations or supermarkets using cash or card. You can then use the 16-digit PIN code on the voucher to deposit money to your betting account. paysafecard offers anonymous transactions, no fees, no registration and no bank account required. However, paysafecard may not be available for withdrawals and may have lower limits than other methods.
Taxation and Responsible Gambling Policies
One of the benefits of betting on licensed Swiss betting sites is that you don’t have to pay any taxes on your winnings. According to the Money Gaming Act, all gambling winnings below CHF 1.000.000 are tax-free in Switzerland. However, if you win more than that amount in a single year, you will have to declare it as income and pay taxes accordingly.
Another benefit of betting on licensed Swiss betting sites is that they have to comply with strict responsible gambling policies. These include:
- Providing information and resources on gambling addiction prevention and treatment
- Offering self-exclusion tools and limits on deposits, bets and losses
- Supporting organizations that promote responsible gambling and help problem gamblers
- Cooperating with authorities to prevent money laundering and fraud
If you choose to bet on foreign betting sites that are not licensed in Switzerland, you may have to pay taxes on your winnings depending on the laws of the country where the site is based. You may also have less protection and support in case of gambling.
Sports betting in Switzerland is a legal and popular activity that offers many opportunities and benefits for Swiss players. However, it is also subject to strict regulation and supervision by the Swiss authorities, which aim to protect players from unlicensed and fraudulent operators, as well as to promote responsible gambling and social welfare. Therefore, Swiss players should be aware of the legal framework and the best Swiss betting sites that suit their needs and preferences, as well as the popular sports and events to bet on, the payment methods and currencies accepted, and the taxation and responsible gambling policies. By following this guide, Swiss players can enjoy a safe, convenient and rewarding sports betting experience in 2023.
- Q: What is the legal gambling age in Switzerland?
- A: The legal gambling age in Switzerland is 18 years old.
- Q: Do I have to pay taxes on my sports betting winnings in Switzerland?
- A: No, you don’t have to pay taxes on your sports betting winnings below CHF 1.000.000 in Switzerland. However, if you win more than that amount in a single year, you will have to declare it as income and pay taxes accordingly.
- Q: Can I bet on foreign betting sites that are not licensed in Switzerland?
- A: Yes, you can bet on foreign betting sites that are not licensed in Switzerland, but you may face some risks and challenges. For example, you may have to use a VPN to access them, you may have to pay currency conversion fees and exchange rate fluctuations, you may have less protection and support in case of gambling problems or disputes, and you may have to pay taxes on your winnings depending on the laws of the country where the site is based.
- Q: What are some of the best Swiss betting sites that offer CHF accounts?
- A: Some of the best Swiss betting sites that offer CHF accounts are bet365, bet-at-home and Interwetten. They offer high odds, a wide range of markets and offers, generous bonuses and promotions, convenient and secure payment methods, and excellent customer service.
- Q: What are some of the most popular sports and events to bet on in Switzerland?
- A: Some of the most popular sports and events to bet on in Switzerland are football, tennis, ice hockey and skiing. They attract many Swiss fans and bettors who follow the domestic and international competitions and tournaments.