In world gambling industry Sweden is admitted as a highly regulated gambling market. The jurisdiction in Sweden is governed by the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA). The activity is based on creating favorable conditions for operations under competitive market conditions. The basic motor principles for legal Swedish gambling are: strict consumer protection and gambling addiction prevention. Moving in step with the hectic daily life and the constantly happening changes, the legislation regularly updates laws and regulations in the country. In 2018 the Swedish Parliament upgraded the Gambling Act. Since January, 2019 the new legal provisions have become effective providing the framework for all games based on chance offered online and offline.
Gambling Regulation and Legalization
Looking back over the years, Swedish gambling was regulated by a state-owned company called Svenska Spel. The company was founded in 1997 and became monopoly supervising any gambling activity in the country. After years of searching for the right approach the country decided to open a new regulated market for international online casino licenses.
As a new legal body, The Swedish Gambling Authority aims to create a safe and secure gambling atmosphere for Swedish residents. Successful methods and forms of consumer care and protection from excessive gambling are sought. In the fight against illegal gambling, they impose measures such as: criminalize gambling advertising by illegal operators, enforce financial restrictions on unlicensed operators and others.
The gambling business is an important part of the state's economy. It is perceived as a tree with 3 powerful branches:
- Land-based casinos and token machines;
- Online casinos and sites;
- Lotteries and bingo.
Operators can apply for SGA licenses referring the activities from the second and third business branches. Any applicant operator that covers the necessary requirements and becomes a licensed iGaming operator in Sweden shall operate the business according to the state laws and regulations:
- Gambling and betting are not allowed for under-aged players;
- Advertising activities must not stimulate an irresistible desire to win;
- The imposed profit tax in the country is 18% (only gambling with a public benefit is tax-free in Sweden).
Transparency, accountability and safety are the main principles for player protection defended by Swedish jurisdiction. These criteria shall be met by every SGA licensed operator. For the duration of the license and throughout the activities he offers, an online gambling operator has to provide reportable information to SGA about: Personal details of the player; Duration of login cession; Entire financial data (number of bets, deposits, withdrawals, player's balance), Software identification of the games played.
The player shall have full access to information referring his account's balance, gambling history and financial data. To avoid misunderstandings and ambiguities, the games instructions must be complete. For player safety rules must be available without placing a bet.
Recently, the Swedish Gambling Authority efforts have been aimed at increasing the protection of society by various aspects of cybersecurity.
Advantages for Operators
With the new provisions adopted, the Swedish Gambling Authority guarantees fair marketing competition with the state-owned company Svenska Spel, mainly with regard to the distribution of advertisements.
On the other hand, the Swedish Gambling Authority strictly controls and audits the market for illegal gambling activities. Any violation of the law in this regard is punishable by imprisonment.
Advantages for Players
The main goal of the new regulations is to ensure Swedish players and provide them a safe and secure gambling space. The entry of new legitimate gambling providers into the market would provide for players many benefits, such as better service, better promotions and wider variety of amazing casino games.
Strictly following the legal provisions, monitoring the actions of licensed operators, the Swedish Gambling Authority is also an excellent mediator in resolving any disputes.
Revising all old practices, preserving the good ones, breaking them through the requirements of the new time, the new Sweden jurisdiction works entirely for the benefit of consumers. The latest upgraded gambling bill looks for the right balance between revenue for Sweden and profits for operators, safe and secure gaming space for players and good business environment for service providers. Admiration and respect for such efforts! They all lead to first class iGaming experience!