Sweden, best known for IKEA and ABBA, has a complicated history with gambling. But from January 1st 2019, this cold country in the north has a new gambling legislation. The new law includes online gambling as well with Sweden introducing a Swedish gaming license system. Therefore, all online casinos and sports betting operators that want to offer online gambling activities in Sweden, must apply for a Swedish gaming license to be able to offer games to Swedish players legally. Sweden’s laws and regulations regarding games & gaming lagged sharply after the technical development and it really was about time to introduce a new Gambling Law. So from now any gambling site and online casino with a license will be able to legally conduct online gaming.
During the introduction, Sweden’s gaming regulator, Lotteriinspektionen, changed its name to Spelinspektionen. Svenska Spel and ATG will no longer have a monopoly on the gaming market in their respective niches. And the marketing rules will change significantly.
Here we shall try to straighten out the question marks and give answers to what actually happens now the Swedish online gambling market is re regulated. With the introduction of new Swedish gambling legislation, there are strict requirements for online casinos and gaming companies. The rules mentioned in this article should explain, clarify and summarise the newly regulated Swedish gambling market. This will also clarify how the new law affects players and casinos in general.
Permission is required
In order for gambling companies and online casinos to engage in gambling in Sweden, a gaming license issued from the Sweden’s gaming regulator, Spelinspektionen.
The new law says that all iGaming companies and online casinos that want to offer their games to Swedish players must apply for a casino license. And licensed casinos and sports betting operators will be subjected to a tax of 18% on the profits they make in Sweden. They also pay a charge of 400 000 SEK (a bit more than €38,000) for the Swedish casino license.
This will result in the casinos being registered. Online casinos can have multiple licenses in Europe as many countries regulated the industry already, or they are in the process of regulating online gambling. Many have a Malta license while having their offices on the little island as well. Having a Swedish casino license doesn’t necessarily mean that the company has to move to Sweden. They can remain in Malta while having their business in Sweden as well. So far, Spelinspektionen granted casino licenses to 69 online gambling companies.
The operators are able to offer a bonus once to new Swedish customers. And they are, obviously, not allowed to target players under the age of 18.
What happens if an online gambling site doesn’t have a Swedish casino licence?
There is no direct ban (it’s very unclear) for the swedes to play at unlicensed gambling sites. However, it is completely forbidden for casinos without a Swedish license to operate on the Swedish market and with that targeting Swedish players. This means they are not allowed to do any marketing activities on the Swedish market and their website can’t offer the Swedish language.
It’s because of this that many operators removed the Swedish currency, the Swedish language and some even made their platform unavailable for Swedish players. If the online casino violates any of the above, it can expect high fines.
It was recently that one of the Swedish online casinos, Ninja Casino, was sued by the Swedish government for their marketing activities selling lines such as ”spot the way to the gold” and ”profit at the bank within five minutes”, and so on. The Swedish government indicated that this type of advertising is in breach with the law’s requirement of moderation.
Gambling advertising must not exaggerate the possibility of winning and it can’t imply that anything else other than the Random Number Generator is responsible for the outcome. The government also wants to ban the so-called pop-up ads that you have to click away to get into a news site.
Esteemed online casinos with a Swedish casino license
LeoVegas: Is one of the most famous and biggest online casinos in Sweden. LeoVegas is popular with mobile casino players! They offer the latest games from some of the best game providers on the Swedish online casino market. They also have a very attractive welcome bonus for new players.
Casumo: Casumo is a UK, Swedish and Maltese licensed online casino. They offer free deposits, withdrawals and fast payouts. Casumo also has a great selection of table games, live casino and video slots for desktop and mobile devices.
Dunder Casino: It’s a popular online casino in both Sweden and the United Kingdom. They offer lots of free spins in their welcome bonus.
Nordic Gambling Regulations
There are major differences between the gambling regulations in the Nordic countries. For example, in Norway, foreign gaming companies are not able to apply for a casino license. And they are banned from the market through so-called IP blocking. Among other things, the banks should be required to disclose reports on transactions to foreign online casinos annually. No less than 80% of all Norwegians play for money online, half of them at least once a week.
In Denmark, the market for online gambling was regulated in 2012. The new Swedish legislation is inspired by that from the Danish. It’s not illegal to play at online casinos that do not have a Danish casino license but it’s illegal for online casinos to target and offer games to Danish players.
Finland is currently without any legislation that concerns online gambling. It’s free for all online casinos and sports betting operators to offer online casino games to the Finnish casino players. The gambling market consists of both online casinos and casino affiliates. Uudetkasinot.com is one of the largest affiliate sites and offers the newest casinos in Finland.
Summary of the Swedish gambling legislation
• Operators that offer real-money gambling to Swedish players should hold a Swedish casino license
• The casino license fee is SEK 400 000 (plus an immense pile of paperwork) and once granted, operators will pay 18% profit tax
• Swedish players must set different types of limits for gambling at the online casino
• Online casinos can offer only one casino bonus to a new registered player
• Promoting gambling without a casino license, for example through advertising, will be criminalised and strict requirements for licensed operators for moderation in marketing gambling will apply.