Responsible Gambling Initiatives in Swiss Casinos

Responsible Gambling Initiatives in Swiss Casinos

In Switzerland, much like other European nations, you'll find a well-established gambling sector. Both the traditional land-based casinos and the burgeoning online gaming scene offer a wide array of table games, slots, and card games.

It's projected that by the end of 2024, the Swiss iGaming market could be worth as much as $1.44 billion.

With regulations in place granting licenses to select operators, finding reputable online casinos amidst the myriad of available sites can be daunting. Reviews from sources like have proven invaluable in guiding Swiss players through this maze.

More importantly, to mitigate the risk of gambling addiction, these online platforms have introduced various responsible gaming measures. This article takes a look at the efforts made by these Swiss casino operators to comply with governmental guidelines on responsible gambling.

Switzerland casino regulations: An overview

The Swiss Federal Act on Money Games, known in French as Loi fédérale sur les jeux d'argent (LJAr), serves as the cornerstone of gambling legislation in Switzerland, having been implemented in 2019.

This act, often referred to by its acronym AMG, consolidates all gambling regulations affecting both players and operators. It sets forth guidelines for ethical business practices and proper financial management within the industry.

Under this legislation, forms of gambling such as online sports betting, lotteries, and similar activities are categorised as major games.

To operate these games, providers must first obtain a license from the Swiss Federal Gaming Board (GESPA). One of GESPA's critical duties includes mandating responsible gambling protocols for licensed operators.

Licensing requirements for online casinos

GESPA rigorously oversees the licensing process to ensure player safety and integrity within the industry. The licensing structure is divided into two main categories:

  • A-type casino: These operators are not restricted by betting limits and can offer a wide array of games, including slot machines with the opportunity for players to engage in progressive jackpot promotions, earning them the ‘Grand Casino' label.
  • B-type casino: Aimed at resort or spa establishments, these licenses limit the number of table games and slot machines, with jackpot promotions fixed and game stakes capped at CHF 25.

This bifurcation in licensing helps GESPA oversee gambling activities effectively, ensuring each game remains within regulatory boundaries. Licenses are granted for 20 years, subject to renewal as per Article 12 of the AMG, and are exclusively available to land-based casino operators.

In its assessment for license approval, GESPA rigorously evaluates the potential risks associated with each game offering. This may lead to the implementation of heightened safeguards based on the findings. Inspections of gambling venues are an integral part of this evaluative process, ensuring all operational facets align with regulatory expectations.

Treatment centres for responsible gambling

In Switzerland, gambling operators have established treatment centres as part of their responsible gambling initiatives. Supported by GESPA, these facilities are spread across the country, providing assistance to individuals grappling with gambling addiction.

The collaboration between operators and professional mental health clinicians offers expert counselling and support.

Tailored to address the needs of all affected players, these centres deploy customised programmes aimed at managing and overcoming addiction. Preventing further complications related to gambling is a key objective, achieved through early intervention, educational efforts, and comprehensive treatment strategies.

Funding for these initiatives comes from the prevention levy outlined in Article 66, ensuring the availability of resources for this vital service.

👉 To support accessibility and anonymity, toll-free telephone lines are available for those seeking advice on responsible gambling. Additionally, multilingual counselling websites extend support to a broader audience.

Information about these services is prominently displayed in the “Responsible Gambling” sections of operators' websites and through informational posters in land-based venues, encouraging individuals to seek help when needed.

Final summary

Switzerland's approach to responsible gambling highlights its commitment to player safety, through:

  • Ethical and balanced gaming practices within its framework, evident in robust licensing regulations for operators.
  • Nationwide campaigns to educate players about the risks and rewards of gambling.
  • GESPA's mandate for lottery operators to contribute a portion of gross revenues towards supporting responsible gambling efforts.
  • The establishment of treatment centres, supported by toll-free lines and dedicated websites, to facilitate responsible gaming.
  • Strict regulations enforcing penalties on those allowing underage gambling, with technology ensuring player identity verification and compliance.

This comprehensive strategy prioritises player safety and serves as a benchmark for responsible gaming, providing insights for other regions to enhance their gambling safety measures.

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