The Swedish gambling market recently underwent some serious changes after many years of preparation and deliberation. The new laws were passed as a way to strengthen the gambling monopolies within the country, making it more difficult for both domestic and foreign entities from obtaining a licence within its regulated market.
This is a brief breakdown of what changes were made, along with the new range of licences released by the local gambling regulation authorities that applies to everything from lotteries to mobile pokies.
Gambling History in The Country
Gambling in the country can be dated back to when Vikings still held rule over the lands. Legends say that Sweden even used a game of dice to settle a dispute over land with Norway back in the 11th Century. The state gambling monopoly was first established in 1934 in order to deal with the illegal gambling activities that were taking place around the country. Since then Swedish bettors have been forced to turn to one of the four land based casinos, all of which are owned by the state, or head to the cruise ships to play on international waters, where no regulations or laws are in place.
With the advent of online casinos, it got harder for the state-owned Svenska Spel – the regulatory body controlling all gambling-related activities within the country – to control the citizens’ gambling pastimes. The European Commission has long been critical the monopoly and thanks to EU law, Swedes are free to play at any online casino inside the EU. Svenska Spel has continued to lose market share to international operators, which made the Swedish government realise that monopoly was not a viable strategy in 2018
The New Legislation
This is a breakdown of the main points regarding the new gambling law within Sweden:
- Companies are required to cover an 18% tax for commercial gaming
- 0% tax rate for activities that are considered non-profit
- There are six different kinds of licences on offer
- License prices will vary between 400 000 – 700 000 SEK
- Age limit will be 18+ to make use of any online games or services, while 21+ is required in order to get entry to physical casino venues.
A Brand New Start
The Swedish Gambling Authority initially announced that with the new license system, everyone involved will count as a brand new player in their systems and it doesn’t matter if punters had played at the casino while it was still under license in Malta or not. Essentially this means double welcome bonuses, since players can re-register now at familiar casinos.
The new legislation also means that operators and service providers are only allowed to offer a one time welcome bonus to new and existing customers alike, which has put an end to an era of daily specials and collecting loyalty points for cash bonuses and free spins. With this in mind, finding and joining new casinos at regular intervals has become more important than ever before in the country’s gambling history.