Switzerland - Warming to the idea of Online Poker
Online poker (and poker in general) has had something of an troubled history in Switzerland. In 1921 the Swiss goverment banned gambling altogether, but in 1993 drew up new legislation to permit gambling in certain circumstances. Gambling in Switzerland is split into two distinct areas: Games of pure chance (typically casino games such as roulette) and lottery-type games or games where betting is involved. Games of pure chance are heavily regulated, and only allowed in Swiss-licensed casinos.
In 2010 the Swiss supreme court announced it has decreed that poker was a game of chance, and not - as many online poker players had argued - a game of skill. As such, Texas Hold'em and other poker variants fell under the scope of "games of chance" and were subsequently banned in all arenas aside from licensed casinos. You could not even hold a friendly game of 7-Card Stud in your own basement without proper licenses. There was a suspicion that the fact that Switzerland taxes the profits made by casinos at a rate of fifty percent may have had some influence on this ruling.
The Swiss government has made several attempts to regulate online poker playing in Switzerland as well, albeit rather clumsily and not very successfully. Online gambling is allegedly banned in Switzerland, but whilst it seems to be illegal to provide online gambling opportunities, it isn't necessarily illegal to partake in them, therefore Swiss players can play with confidence at the many online poker rooms I've listed below:
William Hill Poker
Full Flush Poker
Switzerland has yet to find a true-poker playing hero. In fact, as of mid-2014, only seven Swiss-based poker players have amassed over $1million in career poker earnings, those seven including Claudio Rinaldi, Daniel Makowsky and Stefan Huber. Of those three, Rinaldi has come closest to mainstream tournament success, with a fifth-place finish at the 2008 European Poker Tour German Open in Dortmind. It was a €8,000 No Limit Hold'em event, in which Rinaldi won $283,000. Makowsky has been in the money at several World Series Of Poker events, including second place in the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event at the 2008 WSOP, for which he won a little over $355,000. Huber has only been playing tournament poker since 2009, but already can claim a couple of major wins - $300,000 at the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure No Limit Hold'em competition, and $188,000 at the same event two years later, but this time in the No Limit Hold'em 6 Max High Roller tournament.
Despite these successes, Switzerland it seems is really holding out for a real, genuine poker-player champion. If you're based in Switzerland, why not start your education at one of the many poker rooms I have listed above? In a couple of years time, who know, that genuine Swiss poker-playing champ could be you!