News, Culture & Society

How The Gambling Industry in Sweden Works

Gambling in Sweden, and like most countries around the world, is on a steady rise. Sweden is the highest spender when it comes to online gambling in relation to its population. With a population of just over 10 million people, Sweden accounts for 6.2% of the market of online gambling revenue in Europe.

In 2019, Sweden was also the number one European country to have the biggest share of online gambling activity. Sweden’s share of online gambling activity in Europe topped out at 58.8% and towered over the United Kingdom standing at 45.3%.

In 2020 alone, the total gross revenue for the Swedish Gambling market hit SEK 24.7 billion. 2021 continued to show this growth with reports of a 5% increase in the first quarter of the year alone.

If you are interested in how the gambling industry has been shaped and how it works currently, keep on reading.

Removal of Gambling Restrictions

After more than a year and a half, last month saw the removal of the temporary gambling restrictions placed in response to the pandemic. These restrictions included a monthly deposit limit of SEK 5000 per month and a bonus limit of SEK 100 and were imposed to help reduce the risks for vulnerable players, as financial problems have potentially been exacerbated due to the pandemic.

These temporary restrictions were met with a fair bit of controversy, so many players and stakeholders alike are feeling positive about this long-time-coming decision.

The Gambling Industry Before 2019

Like many countries, the rise of online gambling has skyrocketed in the last decade. Many previous laws and legislations regarding gambling haven’t had the chance to update and develop to match the fast online development on the online industry, leaving many unfortunately out of date and leaving online gambling often in a grey area of the law.

A problem that is not just unique to Sweden is the rise of unregulated online casino operators. As online gambling became legal in 2002, there have been over 15 years of unregulated gambling markets. This was particularly prevalent due to the monopolization of the industry.

For years, Sweden had only a handful of companies and non-profit organizations that were allowed to operate within the country. This pushed many Swedish players to join non-Swedish casinos and other offshore operators to get their entertainment fix.

Where Can Swedes Find Reputable Online Casinos?

There are many online casinos to choose from available to Swedish players that are reliable, trustworthy, and safe to play at. While it might seem is the slightly impossible task of finding the perfect one out of the many available, it is actually incredibly easy if you know where to look.

It can be a very long and arduous process to compare every little detail of an online casino to ensure it fits your preferences the best, so many players like to use a reliable review site to do the hard work for them.

If you are hoping to find a new online casino, or are perhaps curious about what online casinos are out there on the market, click here to see all the top online casinos for Swedish players that are fully licensed and regulated and have been reviewed by online casino aficionados.

New Gambling Act of 2019

The new Gambling Act was introduced at the beginning of the year in 2019. This was done in an effort to bring some order to this gambling market as well as provide greater protection to players.

This new gambling legislation has been enforced with the main emphasis on the safety and protection of the player, encompassing ideas of minimizing the negative aspects of gambling as much as possible.

The Swedish Gambling Authority can now take action against any operator that does not comply with the Gambling Act such as fines, penalties, or even revoking a license.

This new act has introduced a licensing system where any operator wishing to offer gambling services must have a license. Any operators found to run without a license will be excluded. Out of the total number of licensed operators in Sweden so far, around 70 are within the realm of online casino games and sports betting.

These new regulations apply to any operator providing gambling services in Sweden, intended for the Swedish market, whether that is in-person or online. Additionally, there are now regulations in place to block payments between players and unlicensed operators in a further bid to keep players safe.

Responsible Gambling

The movement towards gambling in a safe and more responsible way. One of the main objectives in order to be able to get a license, an operator must provide higher levels of protection for players in regard to problematic and excessive gambling.

A self-exclusion site known as Spelpaus is now available for all Swedes as a means to exclude themselves from gambling and receiving marketing around this industry.

All operators with a license must connect to this site to be able to offer this service to players. The number of players using this service is growing exponentially in Sweden, which shows that the scheme is working and providing some protection for otherwise vulnerable players.

In addition, advertising for licensed online casinos in Sweden must adhere to strict regulations. Guidelines have been created to ensure minors are not receiving direct advertising as well as any players who have self-excluded themselves from gambling.

Tax

With the introduction of the Gambling Act of 2019, all licensed operators are now expected to pay up to 18% in taxes on their total profits directly to the government in Sweden. In 2019 and 2020 alone, the generated revenue from the licensed operators in Sweden has reached just under SEK 50 billion.

While the Swedish Gambling Authority is trying to dissuade players from joining unlicensed online casinos due to their reduced safety and protection for players, H2 Gambling Capital has estimated that the total revenue in this sector was around SEK 2.5 billion in 2019.

The Future of Gambling in Sweden

The gambling industry in Sweden is set to continue flourishing and the Swedish Gambling Authority is committed to creating a market that is safe, legal, and reliable. Many believe the future is looking bright for the industry in Sweden, as with this new Act, independent and private operators are allowed to apply for licenses that diversify the industry.

As a final note, always make sure you find a reliable online casino with a license to ensure you have the greatest protection when gambling online.