Banned from gambling: statistics on the rise in 2019

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Thanks to particularly strict regulations, Switzerland is able to guarantee an optimal experience for online gambling enthusiasts. However, despite many relevant measures, the statistics for 2019 show a significant increase in the number of people who have been banned from gambling. Although this information may seem anecdotal at first glance, it nevertheless summarises a phenomenon feared by the CFMJ: the growth of addiction among many Internet users located in Switzerland.

Online gambling in Switzerland, a unique model in Europe

Switzerland has a number of exclusive systems to safeguard online gambling enthusiasts. Contrary to certain preconceived ideas, the supervision carried out by the CFMJ and other bodies is a unique model in Europe. A quick overview of the means applied by neighbouring countries effectively confirms this information, where problematic situations are regularly identified.

As we know, Swiss laws – unlike those of other European countries – imposes certain conditions on operators and players:

  • Only land-based casinos can offer legal online gambling
  • A careful analysis of each new operator is imposed by the CFMJ in order to issue a licence (extension to a concession)
  • The clear display of information on responsible gambling is a prerequisite for online casinos
  • The definition of gambling limits is compulsory as soon as a player registers
  • The validation of a new player account must be carried out within a maximum period of 30 days
  • Players can request their own exclusion from their operator

Naturally, this list is exhaustive. Although the above-mentioned conditions may seem to penalise players, they are nevertheless essential to limit the risks of addiction leading to problematic situations (indebtedness, social withdrawal, depression, etc.).

The number of gambling bans will increase in 2019

Most of Switzerland’s neighbouring countries are closely following the statistics associated with our exclusive responsible-gambling model. Although the application of the new gambling law is reassuring, these measures can still not guarantee “zero risk” of addiction among gamblers… And certain statistics confirm this. According to a report by the CFMJ, 61’432 internet users were banned from gambling on 31 December 2019 (compared with 57’150 players in 2018).

An article in NZZ al Sonntag recently presented a CFMJ press release. The latter linked the rising statistics to the availability of 4 new online casinos in the second half of 2019. The addition of operators to the list of online casinos recognised on Swiss soil indeed makes it possible to fight against illegal offers… while at the same time attracting the interest of new players.

Sufficient supervision?

Despite statistics on the rise, gambling supervision in Switzerland seems to suit both operators and players. By favouring an ideal balance between the rights granted to Internet users and the instant responsiveness of online casinos, the systems in use are difficult to improve. Furthermore, the increase in the number of people banned for gambling in 2019 is reminiscent of another piece of information: the growth of the online gambling community.

Proportionally, the rise in statistics noted by the CFMJ is therefore “natural”, but calls on legal bodies to improve the measures in force. Is it necessary to tighten the measures currently in place to preserve gambling enthusiasts? To date, no statements have been made by the CFMJ.

What should we expect in 2020?

Considering the arrival of new operators in the coming months (for example and the entry into the market of certain online casinos in the first half of 2020, statistical forecasts will doubtlessly indicate an increase in the number of people banned from gambling at the end of the year. However, the proportionality of these future outcomes will determine whether or not the conditions imposed since the new Gambling Act are appropriate.

Casinosnews will keep a close eye on upcoming official publications by the CFMJ in order to inform you in real time about this key topic for the online gambling industry.

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