Gambling in Sweden has been a fun pastime for a long time. However, it is only until recently that the country opened up its market to international operators. The country was operating under a monopoly of one company that had been given the legal right to offer gambling activities. The downside to this was that this one company was not able to offer enough variety to suit every citizen or gambler in Sweden because of tight government restrictions. That is precisely the reason why people were turning to resource sites like CUSL to find websites that are not restricted by the government.
Overview of the Swedish gambling market and its regulations
The gambling sector of Sweden had been chaotic for decades. Swedish violations of international trade agreements had been a frequent target of EU criticism. The European Union has repeatedly declared that a monopoly on gambling by the state is illegal. Before 2019, only state-owned or state-controlled enterprises (Svenska Spel and ATG, respectively) were authorized to provide gambling for monetary gain in Sweden's monopolized gaming sector. Lotteries and bingo games could only be organized for public service purposes.
The elimination of the monopoly brought about by digitization has made it possible for clients in Sweden to place wagers with offshore operators. For this reason, new legislation was necessary to include only individuals who have filed for and received a license in accordance with Swedish laws and to exclude those who do not.
Various licenses in the Swedish gambling market
Sweden's commercial online gaming license and its accompanying betting license are the two most important licenses for online gambling companies.
- License for Betting – In order to accept wagers at Swedish casinos, whether they are physical or virtual, you will require a license from the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA). Without this license, it is against the law to engage in any sort of gambling. Hence operators of gambling establishments are obliged to have it. This license is necessary in order to provide wagering services on any athletic event, including horse racing, virtual sports races/events, and betting on lotteries. Spread betting on the performance of financial markets is prohibited in Sweden, as is betting on events in which the majority of participants are less than 18 years old.
- License for online gambling – Slot machines, roulette wheels, blackjack tables, and other standard casino games may all be played legally in Sweden thanks to a special license for internet gambling sites. It also includes online poker and bingo, the latter of which has a large fan base in Sweden because of the fact that some of the world's best poker players, all Swedes, have won the most important events on the international circuit.
- License for gambling on ships in international waters – This license is comparable to that provided by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). It applies to all forms of gaming on board foreign vessels, most notably cruise liners. The slot machines and table games found in casinos are all fair game under this license.
- License for land-based gambling – This kind of license primarily emphasizes actions taking place inside a fixed location. Further permits may be necessary, although the license itself allows for the operation of a limited number of slot machines and other casino-style games in such locations (gambling machines). This license does not provide the granting of a right to conduct casino-style gaming. Still, it does authorize the granting of the right to conduct such activities in hotels, restaurants, and other such recognized locations.
- License for state monopoly – The Casino Cosmopol brand operates four brick-and-mortar casinos in Sweden; they can be found in Sundsvall, Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö. This license not only covers the operations of these four casinos but it also gives the state monopoly the right to run lotteries.
- Licenses for good causes lotteries – Charitable lotteries, bingo games, and some types of pool betting all fall within the purview of this license since its primary purpose is to raise money for charitable purposes.
In Sweden, only Business-to-Consumer (B2C) operators are needed to have a license granted by the SGA; however, the topic of whether or not Business-to-Business (B2B) operators should also be licensed is presently being discussed. If the Swedish government decides to implement a comparable requirement, the SGA would be the responsible authority for providing the necessary licenses. Unless otherwise stated by the SGA, a Swedish license is valid for a total of five years.
How do you obtain a gambling license in Sweden
Swedish online gambling licenses are issued by Spellinspektionen, the Swedish Gambling Authority. Either an individual or a corporation may submit an application. If the individual does not live in the EEA, then a Swedish citizen or permanent resident must be chosen as a representative under Chapter 4 of the 2019 Gambling Act.
To apply for a business license, a company must provide the company's certificate of incorporation, articles of association, and a power of attorney for a representative. Players of registered operators are exempt from paying tax on their gains, but the operators themselves are required to pay a Gambling tax of 18 percent on the difference between stakes and payments.
This article was written in cooperation with Bazoom