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UKGC and SGA - differences and similarities

UK Gambling Commission compared to Swedish Gambling Regulator - differences and similarities

by Kally in Industry | 28 January 2020

In 2019 The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the Swedish Gambling Commission (SGC) signed a memorandum of understanding.

Following the agreement, the two regulators are set to collaborate on issues pertaining to improving the implementation of regulatory provisions.

At present, the two regulators seem to be on the same page when it comes to the desired outcomes of their gambling legislation but are leagues apart in the implementation of such provisions.

The main reason? The UKGC has had 15 years to implement and grow their legislation, based on the Gambling Act of 2005. The new gambling legislation in Sweden only officially kicked in on the first day of 2019, giving them only a year so far to practice with the new laws/models.

The approach

The UK Gambling Commission has been faced with an epidemic when it comes to problem gambling among its citizens. As such, the regulatory body has turned to a stance of super-strict legislation and oversight, which has and is changing the gambling climate in the UK dramatically.

The most notable changes in the UK legislation in 2019 to curb this issue include:

  • Age and ID Verification Measures must be implemented by all UK operators before players can join a site.

  • The Point of Consumption Tax was increased from 15% to 21%.

  • Final passing of the Maximum Wager laws saw the agreement that max bets on game rounds would drop from 100GBP to a mere 2GBP as of April 2020.

  • Talks around outlawing credit card gambling funding by players resulted in the change of legislation in this regard, as from April 2020.

While most existing and proposed changes to the legislation aim at securing the environment for players by protecting them from self-harm, excessive debt and under-aged playing, these restrictions have massive ramifications on the earnings of casino providers.

Some of which may find it impossible to deal with. Not only are casino taxes now higher, but their ability to make money via wagers is going to be restricted as well.

The Swedish Government have only just moved away from a state-monopolised system of gambling, having now made it possible for independent operators to apply for betting licenses with the Swedish Gambling Commission.

Though the Sweden regulator seeks the same eventual outcomes as the UKGC, it is a bit more lenient in its licensing procedures, as its main priority is to achieve an equilibrium in a new market.

Notable differences between the two regulators

These are some of the differences that stand out between the UKGC and SGC that highlight the variance in strictness between the two regulators:

  • An operator need not be based in Sweden to procure a license, whereas, in the UK, this is a must.

  • The taxation on betting businesses is 18% on the revenues in Sweden but has gone up to 21% in the UK.

  • Only the betting business needs to have a license in Sweden, whereas both key staff members and the industry require licensing in the UK.

Last year saw a total transformation in the Gambling Act in Sweden, which has made a positive impact on gamers, who can now enjoy a far greater variety of games within a more competitive environment.

It is sure to increase the revenues in the country, thanks to compulsory taxation, which will help boost the economy.

The legislation is still fresh in Sweden, but their attitude towards the task at hand reflects a regulatory body who are destined for success.

It is early days, so players and operators can expect some stiffening in the regulation over the next few years, especially now that the UKGC has penned a deal with the regulator to help them along.

Whatever the future holds, players can be assured that casino regulators always look after their best interest and reminding them to play responsibly.

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