Best poker sites allowed in Switzerland 2024
What comes to your mind first when you think about Switzerland? The Alps, beautiful villages, safe and sound banks, or maybe even milk or cheese? Well, all that and many more are indeed a country's calling card. But what about poker, one of the most widespread card games on the planet? The situation with online poker, and with gambling activities in general, in Switzerland is somewhat complicated. This article is aimed to clarify all the details regarding playing online poker sites in Switzerland, so keep on reading to get the relevant information about the state of the game in one of the richest European countries.
Best online poker sites for Swiss players
Switzerland is a very strict country when it comes to various sorts of regulations. The online gambling issue have also not been spared, which means the country's law regarding this type of activity is rather straightforward. Unlike many countries that either prohibit or closely regulate gambling activities yet allow their citizens to do whatever they want on the websites with different legislation, Switzerland has a different view in this respect.
And while it is quite a challenge to find foreign poker sites allowed in Switzerland, here is an example that other huge online brands may follow.
Pokerstars in Switzerland
The relationships between PokerStars and Switzerland have not always been friendly. Leaving the country in 2019, it was not until 2021 that the platform opened its doors to Swiss players.
Pokerstars is available to players in Switzerland on the Pokerstars.ch platform under the concession of the licensed online casino Davos AG (casino777.ch).
The company itself needs no introduction being the leading online poker brand around the globe. Now Swiss users can legally play on PokerStars' website and mobile app.
How to choose the best online poker site in Switzerland?
As a rule, choosing a reliable operator is solely up to the players themselves. In this case, they would have to make sure it is:
- Trustworthy (operates with a license by a reputable authority);
- Easy to use;
- Transparent and does not have a dubious background and many complaints;
- Bonus-friendly, offering good promotions, as well as holding tournaments and various events;
- With a diverse game portfolio that, apart from Texas Hold'em, features other formats like Omaha, Badugi, Chinese poker, etc.
However, due to the strict Switzerland's poker laws, each and every gambling site that has received permission to operate legally has been thoroughly examined and therefore is to be trusted.
Online poker in Switzerland
While the situation with online poker in the country is far from being favorable, the Swiss still have a pool of mostly local platforms to choose from. Besides, slowly but surely, other international brands are trying to enter the highly-regulated country, as they do not want to miss out on such a promising market with an almost 9 million people of wealthy population.
Prior to PokerStars, the first international brand to enter the Swiss market was iPoker, a well-known European poker network that focuses on recreational players. It features many skins which use common software, a pool of players, and general promotions.
Switzerland's legal poker background
First of all, it should be noted that generally, online gambling activities, including online poker, are legal. However, as you already know, it is strictly regulated by the Swiss government.
In 2019, the Swiss Money Gaming Act came into power and banned all the international gambling sites from operating in their country until the latter obtained a Swiss license. And getting this license by no means is an easy task, as the operators wishing to do so must set up a subsidiary in the country or cooperate with a local licensee. Back in 2019, it resulted in many poker brands, such as PS, leaving the Swiss market. And while such giants as PokerStars and iPoker managed to return to the country, other brands like GGPoker have yet to come back.
The task is additionally complicated by a thorough examination procedure, which, among other things, includes the check-up of reputation and previous activity within the country if such took place. Furthermore, access to websites that do not possess a special license is restricted.
Available deposit and withdrawal methods
Despite the fact that there are not many international poker sites operating within the Swiss legislation, each of them offers a wide pool of payment options available to Swiss players. On top of that, they also accept Swiss francs, which is also a plus for the local residents. Among the most widely used deposit and withdrawal methods, you will find the following:
- Bank cards;
- Pre-paid cards;
- Bank transfers;
More and more players tend to use cryptocurrencies as the preferred payment system since it is both fast and secure. However, if you are a fan of conventional options, especially for big sums, you might want to use wire transfers that are still the most reliable even though they have a longer transaction time.
Switzerland is among the countries with the biggest tax rates. Thus, online operators are taxed as much as 20% of the basic rate, with a possible increase to 80% according to 2019's MGA law. Regular players, however, are not subject to taxation as long as the winnings do not exceed 1,000,000 Swiss francs.
Best Swiss poker players
Switzerland has actually nurtured many talented poker players, many of whom have accumulated over a million dollars of total winnings throughout their careers.
- Besim Hot. In total, Hot has earned more than 2 million US dollars playing in live tournaments and is now listed as the most successful Swiss player, according to the Hendon Mob.
- Fernando "JNandez" Habegger. Unlike most of the players that make their careers playing Texas Hold'Em, Fernando achieved success in PLO Omaha. Now the player is an ambassador of one of the biggest cryptocurrency online sites - Coinpoker.
The end goal of online poker is to bring joy, fun, and a thrilling experience to people that can spend their time playing their favorite game. It would not be possible if you do not take responsible gaming rules seriously. If you ever found yourself in a situation where playing poker brings problems, here are some organizations to reach out to:
- Gamble Aware. BeGambleAware is a project created to help those who feel like having gambling problems. You can also be a responsible citizen and contact them if you know somebody who is struggling with a gambling addiction.
- Gambling Therapy. The goal of the organization is to help people and their families if having fun from playing turns into an addiction. Any man or woman living in Switzerland is welcome to be a member of the anonymous fellowship.
- Pubmed publication. This publication by Joël Billieux and others might be of great help in understanding the addiction problems among Swiss players and the effective ways to solve them.
Overall, Switzerland is definitely not one of the most poker-friendly countries. However, its citizens still have access to the local online and brick-and-mortar rooms, as well as a couple of big internationally-known brands like PokerStars. In the future, the country will likely welcome more online operators while maintaining a high level of security for its people.
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Now let's summarize the most common questions about playing online poker in Swiss:
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