Historically legal Swedish gambling was under the dictates of a state-owned monopoly in the form of Svenska Spel. This company was founded in 1997 and conducted business through agents, restaurants, bars, bingo halls and more. If you gambled in Sweden, it was somehow connected to Svenska Spel, including online.
However, after a 14-year long research endeavour, Sweden chose to follow Denmark and, rather than close ranks around its monopoly, opened its digital doors to international online casino licensees.
In this newly re-regulated market, the Swedish Gambling Authority aims to:
- Ensure players are protected from compulsive gambling by the licence holders
- Criminalise gambling advertising by unlicensed operators
- Enforce financial restrictions on unlicensed operators
- Force ISP’s to warn Swedish residents if a site they visit is unlicensed
As you can see from the strong stance they’re taking against illegal gambling, they intend to create a safe and secure gambling space for their residents.
Under the newly appointed bill, there are 6 licensing categories for gambling. These are State Owned, Public Purpose (various lotteries), Commercial Gambling Online, Betting, Land-based Commercial Gambling and Cruise Ship Gambling. Under the new agreement, international applicants may tender for licences in Commercial Gambling Online, Betting and Land-based Commercial Gambling. This is a far cry from the early state-run monopoly on gambling!
Licensing approval in Sweden will also require that the applicant's servers and business entity (or a representative) are based in Sweden. The caveat to this ruling is the condition that the Swedish Gambling Authority has the power to negotiate this point where they are granted “sufficient access” to the server remotely to satisfy their demands of trustworthiness and fair play.
The licencing process is stringent, and in addition to server, access requires such information as the personal details of key personnel, details on the shareholders (above 10% stake), each game that is intended to be offered, GDPR policy, proof that all technical aspects are in place to offer secure gambling, a tax account receipt from the Swedish tax body, 5-year solvency certificate vetted by the Swedish Enforcement Authority and more!
The cost of registering an online casino licence will set you back 400,000 SEK (approximately €37,000), with any renewal costing an additional 300,000 SEK (€28,000).
Spelinspektionen’s Increased Authority
Swedish authorities have also given Gambling Authority Spelinspektionen greater scope to promote player safety. This scope includes the possibility of imposing further restrictions on gambling. The gambling watchdog has also been advised to keep an eye out for unlicensed casino operators. Expect to see harsh penalties handed out in the next few months. Lastly, Swedish authorities have recommended that Spelinspektionen increase public awareness around aspects of cybersecurity to keep them safe.
Unlike other territories where they created unnecessarily complicated fee structures, Sweden opted to keep it simple, concise and cost-effective. Doing business with the Swedish Gambling Authority will see approved casino licence holders paying an 18% flat-rate tax on their gaming revenues.
Benefits of Operator
The Swedish gambling market has always been an important one; these new regulations open the chance to compete with Svenska Spel on an even footing, including taking out advertisements in popular news providers like Aftonbladet and running legal above the line ads.
If the open market competition is the carrot, then the stick would be the strict enforcement of Sweden’s new anti-illegal gambling stance, with providers of unlicensed gambling services facing up to 2 years in prison. If the courts deem the act to contain a felonious aspect, this sentence could climb as high as 6 years.
Benefits to Players
This entire re-regulation by the Swedish Gambling Authority was for one reason – to create a secure gambling environment for Swedish players. Players benefit from an influx of new legal operators looking to stake their claim in the Swedish market; this means better promotions, better service and more access to a wide variety of casino game providers.
All the while, secure in the knowledge that the authorities are monitoring the actions and intentions of the licence holders and will ensure that all disputes are addressed under local laws.
Top Licensed Casinos
Here 5 of the best online casinos licensed by the Swedish Gambling Authority for your online pleasure:
Betsson: Betsson is a world-class online gambling destination with 100’s of casino games, fully mobile-optimised gambling and fantastic bonuses up for grabs.
Casumo: Founded in 2012, Casumo casino has been dishing up some serious gambling entertainment and top-notch bonuses for players worldwide.
Jalla casino: You get super speedy payouts with Jalla casino which is also fantastic mobile-optimised and offers more than 1000 casino games!
Lucky casino: This Swedish Pay n Play casino offers a truly rewarding experience and a fine selection of online casino games.
LeoVegas: When this lion roars, it's worth taking note. One of the most highly acclaimed casinos in the word LeoVegas offers exceptional entertainment, 5-star support and lucrative bonuses and promotions.
All of these casino brands have passed the authorities stringent approval process and been greenlit as trusted gambling destinations for Swedish players.
In true Swedish style, the Authority took its time determining which route to follow in terms of moving forward with their re-regulation. And it shows. The new gambling bill is clear and simple, and the fees strike a great balance between revenue for Sweden and profits for the operators. All while ensuring the safety and security of Swedish players!