Online games spell trouble for Swiss gambling addicts

Still more popular than online betting: table games KEYSTONE/GAETAN BALLY

When it comes to gambling, nearly 3% of the Swiss population is either addicted or at risk of addiction. 

This content was published on October 8, 2019 minutes

That was the finding of a study commissioned by the Federal Gaming CommissionExternal link and the Swiss Lottery and Betting Board (Comlot)External link.

On behalf of the two committees, the Swiss Institute for Addiction and Health ResearchExternal link analysed the data on gambling in 2017 and compared it with the data for 2012.

"It is important to have this kind of analysis with the new law on gambling coming into force on January 1," Manuel Richard of Comlot stressed at a press conference in Bern on Tuesday.

Out of 18,832 respondents, 69% said they had gambled at some point in their lives. In 2012, it was 70.6%.  Just over half (55%) said they had played in 2017.

Lottery most popular

The most popular games were Swiss lotteries (48.2%), followed by bingo or other private games (14.3%), table games (8.6%), vending machines and slot machines operated in Swiss casinos (6.7%), gaming rooms and casinos abroad and foreign lotteries (5.7% in total), Swiss sports betting (4.5%) and gambling with international online operators (2.3%).

The share of regular players has fallen in recent years: 18% in 2007, 16.9% in 2012 and 16.4% in 2017. Two years ago, most players invested small amounts, with 44.1% wagering less than CHF10 ($10.06) a month and 39% CHF10-99.

In 2017, 2.8% of respondents were "at risk" and 0.2% showed pathological addiction levels. This is especially so with online games offered by international operators (22.1%), while the ratio for other types of games ranges from 2.9% to 14.3%.

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