Sweden has the biggest population from the Nordic countries, 9,747,355 people according to a 2015 census, and it’s also the third-largest country in the European Union in terms of area, 438 574 km2 in total.
The country joined the EU in 1995, but never adopted the Euro, so the Swedish Krona (SEK) is the currency used. The capital is Stockholm, the official language is Swedish, and the country borders with Norway and Denmark.
When gambling is concerned, Sweden has a monopoly that closes the industry for those providers wanting to access the sector, but this doesn’t make the interest in gambling smaller from the side of the population.
The 1970s marked a change in the gambling operations in Sweden, as profit-making companies were excluded, and gambling was assumed by the state and by charitable associations. The government announced this measures with the goal to build a safer gambling market.
It was necessary over 20 years, back in 1994, for a new Gambling Act to appear and to present the basic gambling definitions, lotteries included, being still today the law that regulates the sector, namely defining that the profits of gambling are also used for social benefits or other public interest goals.
In the past, there were two lotteries in the country, Svenska Penninglotteriet, and Tipstjanst, but these were merged in 1997 and created AB Svenska Spel, that still today has the monopoly for all kinds of gambling in Sweden. A partnership with Trav och Galopp exists, but just in the horse racing area.
Casinos, poker, and other gambling machines are not regulated by those companies, that hold the monopoly just in what lotteries and sports betting are concerns. The European Union and other state members have been criticizing this monopoly because their companies cannot enter the lucrative Swedish gambling market, and this is the reason why the local government is considering liberalization.
The particularity of gambling laws in Sweden that makes them non-profit, except for restaurant casinos, is explained on the two categories of gambling operations: international and restaurant casinos. International casinos operate under international casino rules but are also subject to the local Casino Act that determines that only six such casinos can in the country, even if presently only four have been licensed by Sweden.
The restaurant casinos are regulated by another law, the Lotteries Act from 1999, and there are 600 of these casinos in the country. The Gaming Board of Sweden is the entity responsible for granting licenses and supervising the industry.
The expected liberalization of the market would turn it in a big interest for foreign companies, but meanwhile, the legislation still dates back to 2002 and only governmental companies are allowed to establish online operations.
The intentions of the government to regulate the online gambling market are so far nothing more than that, and the state-owned monopoly still is in charge of the sector, even facing the European Union pressure.
Online gambling is perfectly legal in Sweden though, but the special licenses are only issued by a state company called Svenska Spel. At the end of October 2014 there was an announcement from the government saying that there are plans for new regulations about online gambling to be enforced as soon as possible, but just a couple of months later, December 2014, those rules were suspended for being incompatible with the general EU rules.
Despite the existence of the monopoly, the government of Sweden is not restricting remote-based operators, and this is one of the reasons why online gambling flourishes in Sweden.
Gambling Online in Sweden
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