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Sweden Prepares For New Gambling Legislation

- January 11, 2018 By Riley Wilson -

First online gaming licenses to be issued in Sweden

Svenska Spel monopoly set to end as Sweden prepare for the issuing of online gaming licenses.

Swedish gambling market is dominated by the state-owned company Svenska Spel, and its monopoly could soon come to an end thanks to the new open gambling regulation model drafted by the country’s government.

Once this draft comes into effect, little will remain of the current monopoly, except for certain forms of land-based gambling, because state-run operators will still exclusively be in control of brick and mortar casinos, major lotteries and gaming machines outside casinos.

Careful Selection of Applicants

However, online sports betting, online casinos, bingo and other digital product will become open to all those sides that receive the license from the national gambling watchdog, Lotteriinspektionen.

Only those applicants fulfilling high standards consumer protection, game integrity, and problem gambling support will be granted a license.

According to available information, the Swedish government plans to introduce the new regime by 2019, whereas the licensing application is scheduled to begin in July.

Reclaiming the Local Market

Swedish Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi claims the new legislation will help the country take back the control of its gambling market since according to the latest data published by Lotteriinspektionen shows that internationally licensed online operators serve around 25% of Sweden’s entire gambling market.

Once the licenses are awarded, they will be valid for a period of five years, along with an 18% gross gaming revenue tax. All those operators that receive the license will be obliged to have their servers located in Sweden.

Only those operators owning a license in a jurisdiction acceptable to Sweden will be exempt from this rule.

Increased Consumer Protection

The new legislation will also offer an increased level of consumer protection. The minimum age for the general play set at 18, while those entering land-based casinos will have to be at least 20. Those who fail to comply will be penalized with a wide range of fines, ranging from SEK 5,000 (around $600) up to 10% of their annual turnover.

The planned legislation will also address the issue of those operators doing business outside the law. Internet service provider (ISPs) will block unauthorized gambling domains, with financial institutions blocking all means of payment to and from the blacklisted sites.

One thing is sure: the Swedish market is opening up, and will undoubtedly become a true leader in the region.

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