The average number of frequent gamblers in Switzerland has dropped again with a research commissioned by the Inter-Cantonal Lotteries and Betting Commission (Comlot) and the Eidgenössische Spielbankenkommission (ESBK) shows just 16.4% of respondents gambled at least once a month.
They survey took by the Swiss Institute for Addiction and Health Research (ISGF) on behalf of the two regulatory bodies, the report focused on gambling behaviour in 2017, relating it to previous data collected in 2012 and 2007.
The study centered on 18,832 respondents, with 16.4% saying they took part in at least one form of gambling each month, down from 16.9% in 2012 and 18.0% in 2007. Some 69% of respondents said they had gambled once before in the lives, which relates to approximately 4.4m people, according to the ISGF. Though, this was also a falloff on 70.6% in 2012, which the IGSF said signified 5m people.
In terms of spending, players who said they often gambled spent less than CHF10 a month, while 39% said they gambled between CHF10 and CHFH99.
Lotteries were the most common form of gambling, as 48.2% of frequent players said they had played these games. Raffle and private games followed on 14.3%, then table games with 6.7%, slot machines on 6.7%, gambling halls on 5.7% and Swiss sports betting with 4.5%.
In the meantime, less than two-thirds of respondents who gambled said they were at low risk of developing problems with gambling, or at no risk at all. The ISGF said that 0.2% of respondents were at risk of extreme gambling behaviour, with the majority in this percentage (22.1%) playing games supplied by international online providers.
The ISGF said that many gambling-related problems are likely to decrease following the execution of the Swiss Federal Act on Real-Money Gaming (Geldspielgesetz) in January 2019. Geldspielgesetz allows the country’s land-based casinos to offer online gambling, while also implementing enforcement measures to block access to unlicensed gaming sites. Comlot this week updated its blacklist of unlicensed operators prohibited from offering online gambling in the country, with 82 domains having been added since it was launched in September.
The report also advised that only a small proportion of respondents reported problems at work or in relation to family members or friends because of playing.