Regulations in Online Gambling Laws in Sweden
On the 1st of August, Sweden began its application process for gaining licenses to the newly legalized online gambling market. The legalization of online gambling and the application process has been met with a booming response with over twenty-two gambling organizations registering on the first day itself. The subsequent weeks saw the inclusion of many more firms which made their way into the list of the Swedish Gambling Authority. The Swedish regulators expect about seventy more applicants before the official launch of the market on 1st January 2019.
Sweden has a history of a stringently regulated gambling market which initially had only state-run gambling facilities such as the Svenska Spel. Since the last ten years, the EU has been protesting against the walled-in gambling market of Sweden. These protests were not credence right up till 2013 when the EU resorted to filing legal proceedings against the country. Within the next five years, the Swedish government revisited their gambling laws and formulated “The Re-Regulated Gambling Market” in June 2018. This new bill establishes an online gambling market which will contain services offered by both offshore private firms and government-run bodies from 1st January 2019.
Some of the companies that have submitted applications for gaining access to the online gambling market include Kindred, Betsson, and LeoVegas, all of which are giants in the field. While today they are headquartered at offshore locations, with the passing of this new bill, many are considering moving their operations to Sweden. The Kindred Group happens to be one of the larger Swedish gambling firms owning online products such as Unibet, 32Red, and other products. In a recently released press report, their CEO Henrik Tjärnström expressed his satisfaction at the equal opportunities offered to private firms in this heavily operated Swedish market. He also conveyed his desire to satisfy the customers in the best possible way and adhere to the highest gambling standards. There is a growing concern regarding Svenska Spel’s unfair advantage due to its tax-free operations of offline casinos and its synergy with the online gambling market.
Going by the official reports of the Swedish Gambling Authority, revenue from the regulated markets amounted to $1.87 billion from about 9.9 million users in 2017. This size of the market is comforting to the interested parties who wish to enter the new online gambling scene. With the newly passed bill, the market is expected to pass $2 billion per year.