When one thinks of Switzerland, a few iconic products immediately spring to mind – Swiss clocks, Swiss Army knives, and Swiss chocolate. Of course, there is much more to Switzerland than these world famous icons. How about some of the most beautiful mountains and countryside scenery that you could ever imagine? Quiet, peaceful valleys accompanied by the sound of cow bells, what could be more ideal?
Well, you may be surprised to learn that the Swiss are also fond of games and gambling on the outcome of those games. In fact, Switzerland has one of the longest histories of gambling, going back even further than the Roman Empire – that’s impressive!
Of course, just like any other nation on the planet, Switzerland has moved with the times, and today fully embraces the exciting world of digital (virtual) gambling. To this end, some of the world’s most popular digital casinos have opened their doors to the Swiss, welcoming them with open arms and thousands of cutting edge casino games.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in to the ever expanding online casino scene in Switzerland. We’ll share with you the top Swiss online casinos that you can sample right away, as well as key info on how to choose a good welcome bonus, what payment options are available for Swiss online casino gaming, customer support, mobile casino gaming in Switzerland, and much more.
Gambling History of Switzerland
We mentioned that Switzerland has one of the longest gambling histories in Europe, if not the entire world. This is true, and even when the Roman Empire expanded into Switzerland (which the Romans called Helvetia), they encountered local Celtic tribes practising forms of social gambling. Many of the popular games centred on forms of dice and race betting.
Since the ancient times, Switzerland has gone through many ups and downs as far as gambling is concerned. For example, during the middle ages, gambling was illegal due to religious and moral considerations. However, by the 18th century, various lottery games began to appear all over the country. While the government of the time did ban lotteries that were out to make a profit, most of them carried on underground.
Switzerland is made up of a number of member states known as cantons, forming a federation. The federal government prohibited the operation of all forms of ‘gambling houses’ in 1874. The prohibition applied to all 26 cantons in Switzerland. However, the prohibition was not actually a legal obligation, even though every canton respected the government ruling. This gave rise to the opening of the first Swiss Casino, the Casino Barriere de Montreux, in 1881.
Fast Forward to the 20th century and in 1923, the Swiss government introduced two new bills targeting gambling in the land. The Federal Act on Gambling Houses, which specifically targeted casinos, and the Federal Act on Lotteries, and Commercial Gambling, specifically targeting lottery games and other forms of betting. However, this was not universally applied, and certain cantons were affected only. Those cantons were gambling was still permissible, had to yield significant revenue to community development.
However, this all changed once again in 1993, when the then government were in a bit of a tight spot. At the time, the cost of healthcare was rising sharply, and the government needed additional tax revenue streams. The easiest way for them to achieve this, was to legalize and/or expand on existing casino and gambling laws.
Initially, the new regulations allowed brick and mortar casinos to operate within considerably wider parameters. These parameters were further expanded upon with additional bills which were passed in 1998 and in 2000. These new additional bills helped to address under-age gambling as well as gambling addiction, and also divided Swiss casinos into two main categories: Casino Type A licensed and Casino Type B licensed.
All casinos from 2000 until present day are governed by these acts and by these license types. Furthermore, lottery games were legalized in 2006, giving Swiss gamblers a much wider selection of options to choose from.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Switzerland?
As you may have guessed by now, online gambling in Switzerland is legal. This is mainly because all forms of gambling in Switzerland now fall under the newer Money Gaming Act, which was brought into being in 2017. The new act allowed the Swiss government to establish two main regulatory bodies:
Comlot: Regulates all sports betting, lottery and bingo gaming in Switzerland.
Swiss Federal Gaming Board: Regulates all casino and poker gaming (online and land-based).
This also ensures that all online casino operators, looking to cater to Swiss players, must first legally obtain a Swiss gaming license in order to do so. Furthermore, anyone looking to establish a Swiss online casino must have a physical presence within Switzerland. In other words, it is not possible for anyone to provide legal online casino gaming to Swiss players, without a legal land-based online casino presence to begin with. This also means that foreign online casinos would need to partner with local Swiss operators in order to offer their platforms to Swiss players.
How We Rate and Our Top Swiss Online Casinos
The first feature that most players look at when assessing an online casino, is their welcome bonus offer. This makes sense since this is also the primary method that almost all online casinos will use to attract new players to their casino. Naturally, when it comes to finding the best welcome bonus offers for Swiss players, we’ve included this critical factor in selecting our top Swiss online casinos lists.
There are a number of components that go into the modern online casino welcome bonus offer, and it is important to evaluate all of these features, before determining whether or not an offer is good or not.
Our team of online casino experts are well versed in welcome bonus marketing, and their keen eyes can spot a good bonus from a mile away. By the same token, they are also able to quickly assess whether an offer is unfair or downright dangerous for the player.
We assess a range of criteria and ask key questions such as:
Is the welcome bonus a good investment for the player? Will they get value for their money?
Does the casino sweeten the deal with free spins?
How much do you need to deposit in order to unlock the bonus offer? Do you need to include a special bonus code to get the right deal?
What are the wagering requirements like? Are they reasonable? Can you complete them in good time?
Can you use your usual payment method, or are some excluded from the offer?
How long do you have to take advantage of the offer from the time that you register your account with them?
How long do you have to use free spins (if they’re included), and how long do you have to use the bonus before it expires from your account?
These and other questions allow us to quickly assess how good a casinos welcome bonus offer is in the real world. If we’re satisfied with the offer, we can move through the rest of the casinos features before adding them to our recommended list.
Popular Swiss Online Casino Welcome Bonus Offers
You’ll find plenty of variety when you browse our list of top Swiss online casino options. This includes a wide array of popular welcome bonus offers, each designed to suit different styles of players, as well as different gaming needs. Which kind of welcome bonus you choose to go with is really up to you. However, if you’re new to online casino bonus offers, take a look at the following overview of the most popular types of Swiss online casino bonus offers. This will give you a good idea of how each basic type works.
The No deposit bonus
This is one of the most popular types of online casino welcome bonus offers for a few very simple reasons. For one, you don’t even need to deposit any of your own money in order to qualify for this type of bonus offer. All you need to do is open an account with the online casino and they’ll deposit it directly in your new account. This is a great way to ‘test drive’ the casino in a real world gaming situation, with no risk to your own money should you lose. The downside to these offers is that they are usually quite small, and only really good for checking the casino out.
First deposit bonus
Most Swiss online casinos will go with a first deposit bonus as their main welcome bonus. These can vary from a few hundred Euros to a few thousand. However, in most of them, the bonus will be a 100% match on your deposit amount. This means that whatever you deposit (over the minimum required amount) will be instantly doubled.
These work the same as a first deposit bonus except that they will be applied to several of your initial deposits. In other words, the casino may offer you a €1,000 welcome bonus package, but will divide it over four deposits. Each deposit bonus will also be a percentage match on your deposit.
Cash deposit bonus with free spins
These have quickly become the most popular type of welcome bonus package because they offer both a cash incentive as well as free spins for slots. These are very popular with slots players, but are also great if you enjoy slots and other kinds of casino games.
Casino Software Providers and Casino Games
Next to the welcome bonus package in terms of super-important features, is the range of games as well as the software providers that have partnered with the casino. Most of our top Swiss online casinos will feature hundreds of slots and casino games sourced from all of the top software brands. This gives you a great selection of high quality, safe and reliable games to choose from.
Some of the top software providers that have partnered with our recommended Swiss online casinos include:
Evolution Gaming (live casino gaming)
Play ‘n Go
Mobile Casino Gaming in Switzerland
Mobile casino gaming is quickly become the norm for Swiss online casino gamers. With all the advances that have been made in mobile technology, playing on your mobile device is every bit as good as playing on your home pc. While most casinos will gear towards both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets, with mobile browser-based instant play technology, you can access our Swiss online casinos on almost any mobile device.
Customer Support and Languages
Almost all of our top Swiss online casinos will feature full 24 hour customer support, which is available seven days a week and throughout the year. Customer support is available via a number of convenient channels, including live chat, email, call support, and social media. While English is generally the operational standard, many online casinos will offer language support in French, German, and other languages.
Payment Methods for Playing at Swiss Online Casinos
You’ll find a wide range of today’s most popular payment options for making instant deposits and fast withdrawals from your account. These safe and secure payment options range from credit and debit cards to eWallets, vouchers, bank transfers and more.
Popular options include:
Top Swiss Online Casinos Round-up
As more and more online casino operators are awarded operating licenses, the Swiss online casino scene is sure to go from strength to strength. Currently, we’ve handpicked the very best that is available for your online casino gaming pleasure. The best part is that we’ve already done the ‘leg work’ for you, so you don’t have to. All you need to do is browse through our recommended list for Switzerland, and pick the one you like the best.
Alternatively, you can click on the link to the in-depth review to really see what each option is all about. Our aim is to provide you with the ultimate online casino experience, and hope that you keep coming back to our pages for more casino content, gaming reviews and more.