Casino Gambling in Switzerland -The Legal Situation, Politics and Prospects for Prevention and Harm Reduction


  • Daniela Dombrowski Addiction Research Institute, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Ambros Uchtenhagen Addiction Research Institute, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Jürgen Rehm Addiction Research Institute, Zurich, Switzerland, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada



In April 2000, a new law came into effect in Switzerland that permits casino gambling with unlimited stakes for the first time since 1921. Casinos can now be run only with a concession granted by a newly established federal agency. In addition to economic and administrative information, each casino applying for a concession has to submit a fully developed "social concept" that includes detailed prevention measures for dealing with people with gambling problems, staff training and evaluation research, which an independent advisory board will control. In the fall of 2001, the first casino concessions will be granted based on the quality of each applicant's overall proposal.

The new legislation is creating a unique situation in Switzerland. To reduce the potential harm for gamblers that is associated with new forms of gambling, the legislation should be standardized and continuously optimized. These new measures require evaluation and government control.






Policy Paper

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