Betting in Switzerland is overseen by different bodies elected by the government. The betting authorization bodies help the government to issue licenses and collect revenue. They also see to it that all betting sites follow the rules stated in betting acts. Betting in the country is mainly overseen by the Swiss Gambling Supervisory Authority. The supervisory body regulates digital betting in the country. The regulatory body also helps supervise and regulate sports and horse race betting done online.
Swiss Gambling Supervisory Authority regulates automated and intercantonal betting done in land-based betting shops. Small games that are neither intercantonal nor automated are supervised and regulated by cantonal authorities. There is no special body in Switzerland tasked to help regulate social gaming, e-gaming, and fantasy betting. Such instances are solved on a case-by-case option whether a game or a bet qualifies as a small scale, large scale, or a casino game under the casino gaming regulations in Switzerland.
Apart from supervising authorized large-scale gambling, the Swiss Gambling Supervisory Authority helps fight illegal gambling in the country. The regulatory body conducts regulatory investigations on suspected betting companies within its area of responsibility. The supervisory and regulatory body is also the center of expertise for all the cantons on gambling-related issues.
Betting Acts in Switzerland
Modern Switzerland laws on gambling began in the early 1920s. The first gambling Act in the country was passed in 1923. That is when the Lotteries and Commercial Betting Act was passed. The Act prohibited lotteries in the country. Cantons were given authority to permit lotteries only for public benefit.
In 1929, the Gambling Houses Act was passed. The Act prohibited casinos in the country. Only casinos that were used in specific areas to support tourism were left open. Those casinos were also limited to only offer low stake games. Switzerland had a financial crisis in 1993 and was forced to find an alternative to collect revenue. A referendum was passed that allowed casinos generate tax revenue.
In 1998, the Federal Act on Games of Chance and Casinos was passed. This law, created the Swiss Federal Gaming Board, prohibited online gambling in Switzerland, and added casino referendum to the Swiss Constitution.
In 2018, Switzerland voters approved the Federal Act on Money Games. This was done through a referendum conducted in the country. The law gave land-based casinos authority to operate online casinos. Internet providers were also forced to block access to all foreign casino sites. Foreign betting sites must partner with local betting companies to be used in Switzerland. The Federal Act on Money Games took effect in 2019.