Gambling in Switzerland
Swiss Betting Laws
In April of 2000, a law known as the Federal Law on
Games of Chance and Casinos came into effect in
Switzerland. For the first time since 1921, casino
gambling with unlimited stakes would be allowed.
The law also divided gambling into two distinct
categories: games of skill (like poker) and games of
chance (slot machines). Under this law, games of chance
are limited to specific areas like casinos and gaming
Swiss Casino Laws
In addition, casino taxation was also covered. Large
casinos would be categorized as Type A and pay less
taxes, while smaller casinos (considered Class B) would
be asked to pay higher taxes.
To enter a casino and gamble in Switzerland, a person
must be at least 20 years of age.
Internet Gambling in Switzerland
Internet gambling is illegal in Switzerland, although
there are no models for prosecution. However, that
hasn’t stopped citizens from enjoying the activity. Last
year, the Swiss spent 0.3 billion Euros at online
casinos. In 2005, they spent 36 Euros per capita on the
Sports and Pari-Mutuel Betting in Switzerland
Sports betting is not allowed in Switzerland,
although many citizens still engage in the activity via
the Internet. It is forbidden to advertise online
gambling services in print, radio or television.
In essence, betting is forbidden under the Federal
Lotteries and Commercial Betting Act (if it is organized
as a commercial enterprise). However, individual regions
can permit limited betting on a sporting event within
Most sports betting in Switzerland is organized by
either The Swisslos or the Loterie Romande. In the
French-speaking part of the country, pari mutual betting
on horse racing (among others) is offered by Loterie
Popularity of Gambling is Rising in Switzerland
In 2004, Swiss casinos took in $645 million, an
increase over 37 percent from the previous year. While
three-quarters of this income was generated by slot
machine players, the popularity of the industry has
continued in subsequent years. In 2006, Swiss citizens
spent more than ever on gambling and lotteries, wagering
a total of $2.31 billion.
Casinos in Switzerland
- Casino Bad Ragaz (Hans-Albrecht-Strasse, Bad Ragaz)
The casino is also connected to a hotel with 237 rooms.
Hours of operation are Monday thru Thursday and Sunday
from 2pm until 3am and Friday thru Saturday from 2pm
until 4am. There are 125 gaming machines in all, plus 7
table and poker games (4 American Roulette, 2 Blackjack
and 1 Casino Stud Poker).
- Grand Casino Baden (Spielbank Baden AG, Baden)
Opened daily from 3pm until 4:30am, the casino offers
over 300 gaming machines and thirty table and poker
games. Games include American Roulette, Baccarat,
Blackjack, Chemin de Fer, French Roulette, Poker, Punto
Banco, Roulette, Sic Bo and Wheel-of-Fortune.
- Airport Casino Basel (Airport Route 225, Basel)
Open Sunday thru Wednesday from noon until 3am and
Thursday thru Saturday from noon until 4am. The casino
features 340 gaming machines and seventeen table and
poker games. There are also two restaurants and three
bars in the facility. Games include American Roulette,
Baccarat, Blackjack, French Roulette, Mini Punto Banco,
Poker and Stud Poker.
- Grand Casino Kursaal Bern (Kornhausstrasse 3, Bern)
Open Sunday thru Wednesday from noon until 2am and
Thursday thru Saturday from noon until 3am. The casino
has a 3,606 square foot gaming area and offers both 255
gaming machines (including Tropical Stud Poker) and
fifteen poker and table games. Games include Poker,
Boule, Blackjack and American Roulette.
- Casino du Jura (Sur Haute-Rive 1, Courrendlin)
Features a restaurant, 89 gaming machines and 6 table
games. Games include American Roulette, Blackjack, Boule,
English Roulette and Stud Poker.
- Casino Davos (Promenade 63, Davos-Platz) Features a
restaurant and hotel with 100 rooms. Open until 2am in
the summer and 3am in the winter. 68 gaming machines are
offered, as well as various poker and table games. These
include: American Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack, Boule,
Chemin de Fer, Craps, Poker, Punto Banco and Roulette.
- Societe Fribourgeoise d’animation Touristiqe (Route
du Lac 11, Granges-Paccot) This casino offers 104 gaming
machines and 8 table games (2 American Roulette, 2
Blackjack, 2 English Roulette and 2 Poker tables). Open
until 5am on the weekends.
- Casino Interlaken (Strandbadstrasse, Interlaken)
Open until 3am on Thursday thru Saturday. The casino has
120 gaming machines, 3 blackjack tables and 2 American
- Casino Locarno (Largo Zorzi 1, Locarno) This casino
has 150 gaming machines (including 74 video poker
machines) and nine table games. Games include Roulette,
Caribbean Stud Poker, Blackjack and American Roulette.
- Casino Lugano (Via Stauffacher 1, Lugano) Open
until 4am on Friday and Saturday, this is the largest
casino in Switzerland. 350 gaming machines are available
on the casino floor, plus 32 table and poker games.
Games include Punto Banco, Wheel-of-Fortune, Poker, Mini
Punto Banco, French Roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker,
Blackjack, American Roulette and Baccarat.
- Grand Casino Luzern (Haldenstrasse 6, Luzern) Open
daily from noon until 4am, the casino offers 10,947
square feet of gaming space. There are 245 gaming
machines and 20 table and poker games. Games include
Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Touch Bet Roulette, Punto Banco,
Poker, Blackjack and American Roulette.
- Casino Admiral (Via Angelo Maspoli 18, Mendrisio)
Open until 5am on weekdays and 7am on the weekends. This
casino offers 150 gaming machines and 31 table games.
There are also two bars and one restaurant on the
property. 18 American Roulette tables are available, as
well as nine Blackjack tables.
- Societe Casino du Lac Meyrin (Route de Pres-Bois
20, Meyrin) The casino has 150 gaming machines available
and thirteen table and poker games. There are 6 American
Roulette tables, 5 blackjack tables and 2 poker table.
- Societe du Casino de Crans-Montana (3962 Crans-Montana
1, Montana-Vermala) Open from 3pm until 3am daily.
Gaming tables open at 7pm. 120 gaming machines are
present, as well as six table and poker games. Games
include poker, blackjack and American roulette.
- Casino de Monteux (Rue du Theatre 9, Montreux) 320
gaming machines are available, plus 23 table and poker
games. The facility also offers three restaurants and
two bars. Games offered include poker, Punto Banco, stud
poker, French roulette, English roulette, craps and
- Casino Zurichsee (Seedamm Plaza, Pfaffikon) The
casino has 19,000 square feet of gaming space, 150
gaming machines and 12 poker and table games. American
Roulette, Poker and Blackjack are all offered.
- CSA Casino Schaffhausen (Herrenacker 7,
Schaffhausen) Open weekdays until 3am and weekends until
5am. 1,604 square feet of gaming space. 123 gaming
machines (including Tropical Stud Poker) and nine table
and poker games. Games include Poker, Blackjack and
- Grand Casino St. Gallen (Grand Casino St. Gallen
AG, St. Gallen) Open until 4am on Friday and Saturday.
188 gaming machines and 13 table and poker games.
Available games include blackjack, poker, Texas Holdem
and American roulette.
- Casino St. Moritz (Via Mezdi 29, St. Moritz) 75
gaming machines are available, plus seven poker and
table games. These games include poker, stud poker,
blackjack and American roulette.
Swiss Cow Bingo
For a real change of pace, consider visiting the town of Ruswil, which is
near Lucerne, Switzerland. There, a game called Swiss
Cow Bingo is played.
750 fields are marked off on a pitch, leaving the
area looking somewhat like a giant bingo card. Cows are
then turned into the area, and participants try to bet
on which field cow droppings will be deposited. Oddly,
this game is also played in the United States.
The Swiss Lottery
The Swiss lottery has been coordinated by Loterie
Romande and Swissos. But after facing fierce competition
from the EuroMillions lottery organization, the
government-sponsored groups entered into a partnership.
Players have a 1-in-24 chance of winning and a 1-in-76
chance of winning the jackpot.
EuroMillions winners are drawn from among the various
European nations which support the service (Spain,
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