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Swiss Casino Games: what conditions are imposed on the players?



Since 2019, Swiss authorities have allowed access to platforms approved for online casino games. While the decision by the government to authorize these platforms is a great opportunity for fans, it isn’t without questions from the players. What are the legal requirements that directly affect Swiss players? Do the winnings from our games (or another operator) need to be reported? Continue reading this article to find out.

SUMMARY

  1. Casino games specifically regulated in Switzerland


  1. Laws imposed on Swiss players


  1. Conclusion



  1. Casino games specifically regulated in Switzerland

The Federal Gaming Board and its crucial role

While some European countries don’t legally recognize any platform offering casino games, Switzerland distinguishes itself by offering a regulatory framework that reassures fans of slot machines, Blackjack, Poker and other forms of online entertainment. The Federal Gaming Board is effectively responsible for regulating online gambling activities by authorizing or by denying authorization to certain operators (naturally, Pasino.ch is on the authorized list officially recognized by the Federal Gaming Board).

Obtaining a license granted by the Board requires rigorous analysis conducted by several independent labs. Any operator accessible from Switzerland must meet the conditions of providing a fair and secure gaming system.

Goal: tackling scams on the web

Some Swiss players may think that the regulation of online casino games might be restrictive and could limit the availability of operators. For example, other countries are able to access many platforms with licenses granted by Curaçao authorities, which are not authorized in Switzerland. However, the majority of these sites holding Curaçao licenses are affected by questionable use policies, meaning the risk of scams is heightened. This is particularly worrisome for several reasons:

  • Integrity of services can be questionable
  • Entering banking information on an unsecured site can result in data breaches (or hacking attempts)
  • Customer support availability, which has room for improvement, can affect the experience of online players
  • Conflict resolution with an operator often requires many complex procedures Faced with such a situation, the guaranteed supervision by the Federal Gaming Board will, of course, be seen as a big advantage for Swiss players.

    January 1, 2019, a critical date for Swiss players and operators

    Contrary to popular belief, online casino platforms have only recently been recognized. In fact, the Gambling Act, designed to authorize and regulate operators, only went into effect on January 1, 2019. This date marks a turning point for the players involved in the field of online gambling.

    “The Gambling Act and its ordinances came into force on January 1, 2019. The Gambling Act replaces the December 18, 1988 Federal Act on Games of Chance and Casinos, as well as the June 8, 1923 Federal Act on Lotteries and Commercial Betting. The four main objectives of the Gambling Act are as follows (art. 2 Gambling Act):

  • Preventing the socially harmful effects of gambling operations, such as excessive gaming
  • Ensuring transparent and safe gambling operations
  • Allocating net profits from lottery and commercial betting fully and transparently towards public utility
  • Allocating a portion of the gross proceeds from casino games towards social security (or elderly, survivors, and disability insurance)
  • The Swiss Gambling Act authorizes the operation of online casino games, previously prohibited. Gambling houses benefitting from concessions can request an extension of the concession.”


    You can find out more about this law and other legal information at esbk.admin.ch.

    Finally, Federal Gaming Board-approved operators must comply with several features for players such as the RTP (Return-To-Player). In other words, a legal and transparent RTP is guaranteed by a Swiss license. On the other hand, illegal operators cannot provide this guarantee and, furthermore, lack the supervision of a regulatory body.

    Licenses reserved for land-based casinos

    Contrary to popular belief, licenses granted by the CMFJ are only issued to certain land-based casinos located in Switzerland. In other words, no establishment which has not been recognized as part of the gaming club can offer a legal online platform. For your information, Pasino.ch is directly associated with the Casino du Lac Meyrin (Geneva).
    Choosing a 100% legal gaming offer is an important part of guaranteeing payment for any winnings made. Otherwise, entering into conflict resolution can lead to a series of complex legal procedures.

    1. What about the laws imposed on Swiss players?



    While the Swiss Federal Gaming Board’s supervision guarantees the best possible experience for online players, one question remains: what about the laws imposed on Swiss players?

    Condition #1: Be a Swiss resident

    First of all, it is important to remember that all online casino game available to Switzerland are inaccessible to players residing in foreign countries. For example, French, Belgian or German players are not able to take advantage of our services without verifying their identity (see below).

    Are you a Swiss resident with a specific work permit (permit B, C, etc.)? If so, then you possess the legal authority to enjoy online casino games from Switzerland!

    Sending verification documents following registration

    It is possible to register at Pasino.ch in just a few clicks (or with another operator in possession of a Swiss license). Once registered, there is a crucial second step that requires verification of your identity. To complete this step, you must provide the following requested documents:

  • A photocopy of your ID
  • A proof of address (a bill, work permit, pay stub or pay check, or an attestation issued by a canton)

  • This step is necessary for verifying that your player profile is in compliance with the law. Additionally, this process ensures that each online player has the best possible experience by filtering out unwanted registrations such as duplicate profiles, identity theft, etc.

    Sending and inspecting the proof of ID and address confirms each profile. If these actions are not successfully completed within the specified time frame, the player’s account will be suspended, and certain features will become inaccessible (like withdrawal requests) during this “temporary validation” period.

    What about taxable winnings?

    Another pertinent question frequently raised by Swiss players is: should we declare winnings obtained from online casino games? Truth be told, the answer to this question depends mostly on the value of the winnings. Here is an excerpt on this issue from the Federal Gaming Board website with the relevant information:

    “Winnings obtained in Swiss casinos are not subject to taxation. However, winnings obtained in online casino games are subject to tax withholding starting from 1 million CHF (which is tax deductible, meaning that winnings are subject to tax withholding starting at CHF 1'000'001 – see art. 6 al. 1 LJA in relation to art. 24 let. i and ibis LIFD). In the case of cash gains, an advance tax withholding of 35% must be made by the tax planner, declared on Form 121 and paid to the Federal Tax Administration (AFC – Administration fédérale des contributions). In the case of a gain in kind in excess of the 1 million CHF deductible, it is through a declaration procedure using the new Form 122 that the tax planner will inform the AFC of the winnings subject to the advance tax within 90 days of obtaining the said winnings.”

    Casino game fans can rest easy knowing that the tax withheld (35% of the amount earned) only applies to winnings of CHF 1,000,001 or more obtained from a single bet. Obviously, this situation is quite rare. Lower amounts will not be taken into account by the Swiss tax authority (a similar mechanism for both land-based and online casinos).

    Responsible Gaming is our priority

    Unlike other European countries, Switzerland imposes a responsible gaming policy on players. Such that, every legal platform that offers online casino games must provide all the options and features necessary for the preservation of the well-being of its players. As a result, Pasino.ch distinguishes itself from other competing models by supporting each gambling enthusiast in regard to responsible gaming from the moment that they register. We also provide players with a customer service resource entirely dedicated to responsible gaming, where every question or request is carefully reviewed.

    National exclusion

    Lastly, the responsible gaming policy of each Swiss online casino includes procedures for the definitive exclusion of players in certain situations. While this situation rarely occurs, it nevertheless offers a significant safety net for instances of addiction. In fact, via a direct request or following an inappropriate amount of expenditure, a user can be added to and identified on a list recognized by every gambling club located in Switzerland (land-based and online operators).

    In the event of an exclusion, the concerned player will be automatically identified, preventing all deposits or withdrawals associated with casino games. If the player is excluded, they will be notified via post or email as soon as this is confirmed. The exclusion is put into effect immediately and cannot be re-evaluated without strong arguments.

    1. Conclusion

    Online casino games in Switzerland benefit from supervision that reassures players. However, for players, all previously cited information in this article must be thoroughly respected. Finally, the responsible gaming policy is a crucial feature for the preservation of your well-being while enjoying the best possible experience. By choosing a legal gaming platform, you benefit from services adapted and designed locally by the Swiss for the Swiss!

    As for the rest, we wish you the best of luck in your next games on Pasino.ch. Who knows? Maybe luck will smile on you a few minutes from now!

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