Switzerland

On this page you will find information (scroll down) about:

  1. Languages in Switzerland (German, French, Italian) and the challenges of iGaming localisation.
  2. The Swiss gaming market, particularly regulation/legality of online gaming.

Languages in Switzerland and the
challenges of gaming localisation

The language landscape in Switzerland is a little bit unusual. This country's population is divided between four national languages: German (63.5%), French (22.5%), Italian (8.1%) and Romansh (0.5%), English being often used as a bridge between the languages. The Federal Constitution stipulates that German, French, and Italian are Switzerland's official languages, whereas Romansh is an official language for communicating with persons of Romansh language.

Languages declared as main languages (chart)

In many countries people don't have a language "of their their own" as a widely used official language (e.g. some countries in South America, like Argentina, Colombia or Mexico, where people speak Spanish). In cases like these, we often recommend clients to localise their content into country-specific versions in order to make the content feel trustworthy for the audience in the targeted market. To various degrees these country specific language versions can be tailored with a few minor adjustments.

since the majority of the Swiss people have standard German as their native written language, your safest best might be to add a Swiss flag and duplicate your German content

The spoken dialects in Switzerland may often vary from standard German, French and Italian, but for written communication the standard versions are kept.

So if you are targeting the online gaming market in Switzerland, you can simply have your content translated into German, French and Italian, which will give you credibility in those places as well, and Swiss players will just have to choose the language version they are most comfortable with.

But what flag should you put in the drop down menu which shows languages and countries? Well, since the majority of the Swiss people have standard German as their native written language, your safest best might be to add a Swiss flag and duplicate your German content, simply adjusting the information (and offers) if it varies between countries.

Read more about
German gaming translation here,
French gaming translation here
and Italian gaming translation here.


Status and potential of the
Swiss online gaming market

The online gaming licensing situation in Switzerland was shifting at the time of this article being written (June 2014). New laws to regulate online gaming in the country was drafted by Switzerland’s Department of Justice and Police in the last half of 2013 and submitted in the Swiss legislative house by the end of 2013.

43% have gambled at a casino

The first draft of the new gaming act was finally published on April 30th 2014, but the final version is not expected to be ready any day soon. Although Switzerland is known for political stability, the Swiss legislative mills grind slowly, and several pressure groups will have their opinion heard about the new law which is meant to legislate online gaming. According to gaminglaw.eu, the first draft foresees that only casino operators already licensed in Switzerland can apply for the extension of their license to include online games as well.

Fact remains though, as in many other countries, that it is difficult for the government to regulate the activity of Swiss players on gaming sites domiciled in other countries. It should also be mentioned that the Swiss loves to gamble. According to gamingzion.com, 56% of the nation's citizens regularly take play in the national lottery, and 43% have gambled at a casino. 20% could be classified as "frequent gamblers".

Switzerland infographic
Some general notes about the data:
These infographics were made in May 2014, and the data used is as recent as we could find. We have tried to find sources with data for all or many countries, in order to increase the value of comparison, but obviously this is not always possible. We encourage users to check the sources below or to contact us for clarification.