This post is part of a series about European Poker Regulation
Poker regulation in Switzerland, a country of 8 million citizens, has two sides: land based, and online. Although this split can seem a bit complex, ultimately the current regulation, or absence thereof, serves to benefit the players more than anyone else.. Right now in Switzerland all forms of land based gambling are legal and in fact there are quite a few casinos in the country. Online gambling, on the other hand, is completely illegal to host within the country. Swiss poker players in 2016 are totally allowed to play poker outside of Switzerland but operators are not allowed to establish legal entities within the country that offer online play. This regulation has been in place for quite some time and is likely to change soon.
Switzerland poker laws
Gambling became legal in Switzerland around 1990, and legislation was incrementally loosened every few years. In early 2003, the country drafted the gambling bill used today, which, in turn, allows land based gambling in many forms but completely bans online play from being offered within the country. There are plans to correct this unfortunate piece of legislation to allow online play and bind online offering to land based casinos. Unfortunately, the basic amendments of the new bill, which mainly aims to protect local business and government interests (as we’ve seen in many other European countries), create worse conditions for Swiss poker players and they will have to act before 2018 when this law is expected to be drafted.
Play poker in Switzerland
Currently swiss poker players are allowed to play poker online freely anywhere they wish and we suggest they do exactly that. If you’re in the mood for a good local game, we suggest you befriend some locals and hope for a spot in a weekly game because the casino offerings are not the best. All in all, Switzerland has very lenient poker laws but these are about to change and as restrictions will rise