Since opening its gambling market for online gambling licenses applications in early August 2018, Sweden has become a regulated competitive place for betting operators. The Swedish Parliament enacted the new Gambling Act that provides the legal framework for all games based on luck - either land based or online.
The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA), Sweden’s gaming regulator, ensures favorable conditions for operators on competitive market terms while maintaining a strict consumer protection and gambling addiction prevention. Any company seeking to operate in Sweden’s gambling market has to have an authorized license.
Before 2018, Svenska Spel and ATG (the Swedish Racing Totalizator Board) use to hold a monopoly over the online gaming market and still are authorized to offer lotteries, casino games, bingo, poker and sports and horse wagering through the Internet and mobile devices unless a foreign operator receives a license.
The Swedish market is divided into three segments: online gambling and betting, land-based bingos, and land-based casinos and token machines. The latter is not open to foreign operators’ competition.
By being awarded a SGA license, gambling businesses need to run in accordance with the laws and regulations in order to protect players and consumers. Gambling operators are taxed 18% on their profit and must practice moderate marketing activities realistically reflecting the possibility of a win.
In order to ensure transparency and accountability in the online gambling ecosystem, the SGA requires operators to provide reportable information about player ID’s, duration of login sessions, player equipment and all transactions that a player makes within the site. Additionally, game instructions must be complete, unambiguous and available to all players without placing a bet.
Besides monitoring their player’s gambling habits in order to protect them from excessive gambling, operators must provide a self-exclusion option at a casino on a temporary or permanent basis. During this time, operators cannot target players with marketing messages.
In order to maintain a betting license in Sweden, operators must also represent a documented reference to a well-established algorithm and procedures of random number generators (RNG) to ensure operations are accountable in a safe environment for online bettors.
Swedish jurisdiction allow their licensed casinos to issue only one bonus on their first deposit, meaning popular 2nd and 3rd bonus options are refused to be offered as well as daily specials and accumulation of loyalty points.
Applications for licenses must fill documents available only in Swedish and must be written in Swedish in accordance with the gambling regulation. Additionally, these will only be processed by the SGA once the application fee has been paid. Licenses will only be awarded to those operators who have the knowledge, experience and organization required to operate the business in the country.
Getting a gambling license in Sweden might seem overwhelming and complicated at first, and due to its recent launch it might yet need to prove how profitable it is to set up a business there. But companies can take advantage of the technological advances in terms of cryptocurrency adoption in the country, potentially enjoying big market shares.