Traditionally, Sweden has had a very strict approach when it comes to gambling. Svenska Spel, which is a state owned company has the monopoly on providing regulated gambling services to the population of Sweden. The company offers various products including Lotto, Oddset, Triss, and other. All of the profits from these activities are directly paid to the Public Treasury. For a time, Svenska Spel managed to maintain its monopoly, but with the rise in online casinos, it is having harder and harder time to keep the user-base.
Other countries neighboring Sweden are facing the same problems. Some, like Norway have chosen to impose stricter regulations on the gambling industry, while others, like Denmark, aim to open up more to the private investors. Sweden has chosen the latter approach and starting this month has began to accept license applications. The Swedish Gambling Authority is the organization responsible for issuing these licenses. The new law that will allow private organizations to offer gambling services in Sweden will go into force in January 2019.
What does the new legislation contain?
There are several changes in the gambling industry that will be imposed by the new regulations. First of all, the private companies that are allowed to operate in the sector will have to pay a tax of 18%. The rate remains 0% for non-profit organizations of the same kind. These private companies will have to obtain licenses to offer their services legally. There are six types of licenses that can be obtained.
- The license for ‘state owned games’ is restricted only to state owned companies and allows offering casino games, slot games and some lottery.
- Non-profit organizations will be able to obtain ‘public purpose games’ license that allows to offer some types of lottery.
- There is also the ‘commercial online games’ license that can be obtained by any company who satisfies the quality criteria. It allows offering casino games, slot machines and bingo online.
- Other type of license for such companies include ‘betting’ license that will allow these providers to offer all types of online and offline betting.
- Yet another type of license for any company that fits the requirements is the ‘commercial landbased games’ license. Those who obtain this license will be able to offer slot games and card games outside a casino.
- Lastly, a license for ships on international waters, the ‘cruise ship games’ license,
allows these companies to offer casino games and slot machines.
These regulations will change the face of gambling in Sweden forever. A lot of private companies are likely to join in by offering gambling products to the population and it will be indubitably reflected on Svenska Spel as well. Patrik Gustavsson, who is the acting chief executive of Lotteriinspektionens, expects that the authorities will receive up to 70 applications