Sweden Online Casino Guide

Gambling Industry Overview in Sweden

The following approaches will be presented

  • Gambling legislation in Sweden
  • Gambling authorities in Sweden
  • Online casinos in Denmark
  • and more

The gambling legislation in Sweden is considered to present a regime of a monopoly, which closes the industry for commercial providers of such services and activities.

The two major lotteries of the country – Svenska Penninglotteriet and Tipstjanst merged in 1997 with the goal of forming a larger company. The new entity’s name was changed to AB Svenska Spel in April 1997. Currently, the merged company holds a full monopoly over all kinds of gambling within the boundaries of Sweden along with the Swedish horse racing organization called Trav och Galopp.

Flag of SwedenThis basically means apart from casinos, poker games and game machines, the lotteries and sports betting operation in Sweden are put under the control of the major local companies.

Overview

The monopoly imposed over all forms of gambling operations in the country has been suffering from a lot of criticism from the European Union and the nations that are members of the Union. The attempts of foreign operators to set foot in the Swedish gambling market, which is considered a fairly lucrative one, turned out to be unsuccessful.

This is the reason why the Government of Sweden may finally turn away its sight from the monopoly and explore other opportunities such as liberalizing the country’s gambling market.

Relevant Legislation and Legal Framework

Despite being put under a monopoly, the legislation and jurisprudence of Sweden respect the right of the European Union to offer services that involve movement or activities across the borders of the several countries. This basically means that the local authorities are not able to restrict remotely-based operators of doing so. This is exactly why online gambling is currently flourishing on the territory of the country.

On the other hand, the land-based casino and gambling operations are still subjected to the monopolistic national legislation. As mentioned above, the market is reserved for several state-controlled entities and non-profit organizations.

Gambling Legislation in SwedenSwedish laws do not permit profit-making companies to perform on the gambling market, except for small restaurant casinos and entertainment games or goods that have almost none significance when it comes to en economical impact.

After the 1970s, the regime of online gambling operations became even more tight. The private profit-making companies were excluded from the market, which was taken over by state-owned or controlled entities, as well as by charitable associations. These measures are considered to be imposed by the country’s Government in order to offer the citizens a better-constructed and safer gambling market.

In addition, the current legislation of Sweden sets the profits generated from gambling in the country to be used for objectives of public interest or social benefits. The public interest was also explained as one of the reasons why the Government has been considering to provide state-controlled entities with the right to offer online gambling services.

Currently, gambling in Sweden is regulated by the Lotteries Act, which is also known under the name Code of Statutes No. 1994:1000. The Act presents a number of the basic definitions related to gambling, and especially lotteries.

The Lotteries Act also puts a differentiation between lotteries and skill games.

Casino Games

There are two legal categories of casino gambling operations in Sweden, which are called “international casinos” and “restaurant casinos”, respectively.

International casinos on the territory of the country are under the monitoring and control of the Casino Act. Such casinos basically operate under the well-known international casino rules that feature higher stakes, and larger prizes. According to the provisions of the Casino Act, the number of such casinos in Sweden is reduced to six. In addition, they are subjected to state-owned companies, while their licences are issued by the Swedish Government.

Up to date, a total of four international casinos operate in the country. They are situated in Stockholm, Sundsvall, Gothenburg and Malmö. They are all put under the lead of one of the subsidiaries of Svenska Spel AB – Casino Cospomol AB.

The so-called restaurant casinos, on the other hand, offer card games, as well as roulette and dice as part of public amusements. They are regulated by the Lotteries Act, and more specifically by sections 32 and 33. A licence for running such kind of a casino is absolutely mandatory. Such licence is currently issued by the Swedish Gaming Board. According to some data, there are about 600 such kinds of casinos on the territory of the country up to date.

The two major legal instruments that govern gabling activities in Sweden are the Lotteries Act from 1994 and the Casinos Act from 1999. Both of them are issued to make sure that all kinds of gambling operations are put under the control of the country and its special agencies.

One of the major organizations that are entitled with the responsibility to grant the licenses in the market and supervise the gambling industry in the country is the Gaming Board of Sweden. The Board has the right to issue licenses for different kinds of lotteries, as well as for roulette, card games and dice games, plus gaming machines subjected to the Lotteries Act. This is also the organization that monitors the compliance with the two major gambling legislation acts.

Slot and other machine games

The regulation here is provided by the Lotteries Act that makes a difference between various types of gaming machines.

Horse racing

Horse racing is distinguished as a separate kind of betting activity. The Lotteries Act, however, does not contain any specific regulation concerning horse racing, as well as licensing of such arrangements. This type of betting is allowed by the Swedish Government under section 45 of the country’s Lotteries Act. The only organization that is entitled with the right to arrange horse race betting is the Swedish Horse Racing Totalisator Board, which is also known under the abbreviation ATG.

Sports betting

Sports betting operations is officially separated from the rest of the betting activities under the definitions set in the Lotteries Act. Just like the horse racing, there are no specific provisions that are related to establishing and legalization process of such arrangements. The sports betting activities are proclaimed as legal by the country’s Government in section 45 of the Lotteries Act. The state-owned Svenska Spel is the sole owner of the exclusive rights to organize such activities.

Online Gambling

Internet Gambling in SwedenIf liberalized by the country’s Government, the online gambling market in Sweden is expected to turn into a great area of interest for outlanders. The latter are attracted by the idea of setting foot at an industry where online gambling is fully legal.

In 2002, the two major companies – Svenska Spel and Trav och Galopp – were allowed by the Swedish Government to establish Internet gambling operations in the country. The web-based gambling portal nowadays offers a great variety of games and activities, including poker and casino games, lottery, sports betting options, as well as bingo.

The Swedish Government expressed its intention to make the online gambling market in the country a regulated one. It also revealed that it is to become more focused on the implementation and establishment of some rules concerning the procedure of licensing foreign operators on the territory of Sweden.

The online gambling market in Sweden currently features a state-owned monopoly. Still, the situation is slowly changing, due to the fact that the country has been put under the constant attacks of the European Commission. All this made the Government consider a variety of possibilities, including the opening the country’s gambling industry for foreign operators.

As mentioned above, all forms of both land-based and web-based gambling are legal in Sweden up to date. However, the management of such activities not only require special licensing, but is also run by the state-controlled Svenska Spel.

However, the state monopoly started cracking in 2012, after the minority party of Christian Democtrats in the Swedish Government called for opening the overall gambling industry in the country for outlanders that would be interested in competing on the local market.

Actually, a number of political parties in Sweden have been focused on considering changes in current online gambling legislation. In the beginning of October 2014, the local authorities revealed their intentions of accelerating the new gambling legislation procedures. The Government also announced that the new rules and regulations are planned to be put into force as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, the implementation of the new rules was suspended in December 2014 due to several setbacks. One of these was the fact that matters related to gambling were taken by the European Commission to the European Court of Justice as “incompatible” with the overall EU politics.

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