New gambling laws to change the gaming culture in Sweden

New gambling laws to change the gaming culture in Sweden
New gambling laws to change the gaming culture in Sweden

The Swedish government has finally adopted the bill “A re-regulated gambling market” which means that there will be a new gambling act and a system of licencing gaming companies. It is expected that the new regulations will come into effect on 1 January 2019.

According to the Minister for Public Administration, Ardalan Shekarabi, “Unregulated gambling has taken over and gambling is used in criminal activities. It is 14 years since the first of a line of gambling inquiries was appointed. It is now time for us to move from words to action and regain control of the Swedish gambling market.”

Any company who wishes to operate in Sweden’s growing gambling market will now have to have an authorised license and operators promoting gambling without a licence will be criminalised. There will be more consumer protection for gamblers and the negative effects will be limited.

The gambling market will be divided up into a competitive sector, a non-profit sector, and a central government sector. The competitive sector will include online gambling and betting. The non-profit sector will include lotteries and bingo. And the central government sector will including state-owned casinos and gambling on token machines.

Licensed gambling will be taxed at 18 per cent except in the non-profit sector where it will continue to be tax exempt.

Mr Shekarabi adds, “We are reinforcing the Swedish Gambling Authority, granting it more and sharper tools. Unlicensed operators will be shut out of the market and licence-holders must conduct their activities in accordance with the law. Today we are also instructing the Swedish Agency for Public Management to follow up the reform to quickly make any amendments to the act if the goals of the reform are not achieved.”

The new bill also proposes the following:

    • Licenced operators will have a duty to protect gamblers from excessive gambling
    • Transactions may be blocked between gamblers and unlicensed operators
    • ISPs (internet service providers) will be mandated to set up warning messages for websites which offer unlicensed gambling
    • Advertising and promotion of gambling without a license will be criminalised

Online gambling is very popular throughout the Scandanavian countries, primarily due to the fact that there are very high internet and mobile penetration rates throughout the area and the local populations are very technically proficient.

Regulation of the gambling market is considered by many to be a good thing which will help to drive growth, innovation and investment from international operators.

The tax rate of 18% is fairly reasonable compared to that of other countries such as its neighbour, Denmark, which taxes gambling at 20%, and, as a result, it is believed that Sweden could turn into one of Europe’s largest regulated jurisdictions in terms of revenue. According to official data by Lotteriinspektionen, the regulated part of Sweden’s gambling market, SEK17.07 billion ($1.8 billion) of revenue was generated in 2017. During the same period unregulated operators generated SEK5.534 billion ($607.97 billion). And while the figures for the unregulated market are estimated, they certainly suggest that the gambling market in Sweden has a bright future.

For more information, visit


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here