Almost a year ago, the Swedish government made a significant reform of the country’s gambling and betting laws. Why did they do this, and how have the new regulations affected Sweden?
The gaming industry is flourishing like never before. All over Europe new casinos and betting sites are establishing at a rapid pace, but maybe the development is most clearly shown in Sweden. According to Infowars, many Swedes are still unaware of why this decision was taken in the first place. Something that we’ll examine closer in this article.
Swedish Gambling Reform
After a long tradition of strict gambling regulations, where the state has been the sole provider of casinos and betting, the Swedish government decided to make drastic changes. On the first of January, 2019, they let the internet market loose, giving domestic and foreign gaming companies permission to establish casino and betting sites. For land-based casinos, though, the state still has a monopoly.
To understand why this seemingly drastic measure was a smart strategy to regain control, we need to go back and look at how the Swedish gambling climate was before the turn of the year.
Nearly 200 Unapproved Casino Sites In 2018
In 2018 the Swedish state, more or less, had a monopoly over all kinds of casino activities, including betting. Yet, nearly 200 unapproved gambling sites were active, without paying any taxes to the Swedish state nor being able to assure that they provided the kind of user security that the nation demanded. And over-seeing the vast number of Swedish people that gambled (1,200,000 weekly), meant it was a problem that needed to be fixed.
To solve these issues, the state decided to let go of their monopoly and to allow foreign and domestic gambling companies to establish casinos online. But under two conditions.
- All gambling companies must pay 18 per cent tax to the Swedish state.
- All gaming companies must be certified with a Swedish gaming license.
This deal was referred to as a “billion-dollar jackpot for the state” by the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.
One Strike And You’re Out
To acquire a Swedish gaming license is quite expensive. Plus it comes with several strict demands on how your casino can market itself and how you must treat your customers.
If you misuse the state’s trust, for example, by being too aggressive in your marketing strategies, you risk losing your license. And you will not be able to acquire it again. This happened to the company behind the popular casino site Ninja Casino, who lost its license earlier this year.
In the year since Sweden reformed its gaming operation, 92 gambling companies have acquired a Swedish gaming license. There has been a great addition of tax-money, and the Swedes can play at internet casinos they know are trustworthy.