Sweden Says “No” to Temporary Online Gambling Licenses

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Online gambling operators vying for a spot in Sweden’s liberalized online gambling market have just received some bad news. The country’s gambling regulator has decided to do away with temporary online gambling licenses.

The Lotteriinspektionen gaming regulatory agency announced this week that it had absolutely no intention to distribute temporary online gambling licenses to operators who fail to acquire the necessary permits before January 1, 2019, which is the day the liberalized market goes into action.

The regulator has already given out around 31 online licenses, out of a total of 70 applications. The regulator had begun accepting applications all the way back in August 2018. Lotteriinspektionen stated that it was doing all it could to finish processing the applications by January. However, the regulator has warned that there could be a delay since its staff was under pressure due to the short deadline.

Inquiries Received

The regulator also mentioned that it had received inquiries from operators who were still in wait for their diplomas concerning the temporary licenses, which would allow them to enter the market with other licensees next month.

However, Sweden has clearly stated that the new online gambling regulations make no room for such an option and that operators will not be allowed to offer gaming services until they have received all the necessary permissions.

Recent Recipient Already Under Fire

SafeEnt Ltd., a recent recipient of the online gaming license in Sweden, has already garnered negative attention. The company’s Ninja Casino brand has found itself in a legal battle after the Consumer Ombudsman (KO) complained that the brand had failed to follow marketing regulations that require moderation in gambling advertising.

The ombudsman stated that the company was using a range of misleading phrases in its advertisements. This included taglines such as “BET NOW”, “Take Home Millions!” and “Profit Off the Bank” etc.

The KO felt that the phrases could be very harmful to the more vulnerable segments of society and requested the court to consider the impact.

However, the new regulations haven’t been tested in court as of yet and KO is believed to be keen on finding out the actual limits.

The Swedish government has also criticized local media outlets in the past for carrying ads that highlight international gambling operators and ignoring domestic ones. However, with the new rules in effect, there will be a leveling of the playing field for everybody.

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