Jan 15 / 2018
Latest News / Editorial/

Sweden to Reregulate iGaming Market and Open to International Operators

Sweden is set to reregulate its liberal gambling market in a move that will open the door to international operators wishing to target Swedish punters

Sweden plans to reregulate the iGaming Market. The draft legislation, proposed in December 2017 after a study which began in 2015, would see a new licensing system, a set of strict rules governing the industry, and an 18% tax on licensed operators. The legislation, which is currently being considered by the Council on Legislation, will likely take effect on January 1st, 2019, and is largely expected to be green-lighted when the final bill is drafted.
The news has been welcomed by most involved in the industry, with affiliates and casino operators arguing it will usher in an era of robust competition and end what many view as a monopoly run by Svenska Spel, the dominant player in the Swedish Gambling market. To meet the players’ needs, nya-casinon.online is constantly analyzing the marked and is offering a complete review of the online casinos out there. It keeps the players informed, helping them finding a casino that best fits their needs.

Who will the licensing requirements apply to?

Any operator targeting the Swedish market for real money gambling will require a license under the proposed legislation. Software providers such as NetEnt and Quickspin, as well as any others which operate in Sweden, will also require a license. The licences will be required by the entire spectrum of the gambling industry including sports betting, poker, casinos, and bingo.

How much will licensing applications cost?

If the final legislation follows the fee structure outlined in the initial report which recommended it, the fees will depend on financial turnover. Smaller firms could pay as little as SEK 60,000 while larger operators could pay as much as SEK 700,000. Annual renewal fees will also apply.

Are there any concerns regarding the proposed legislation?

Some smaller operators have expressed concern that gambling giants like Svenska Spel and horse-racing powerhouse ATG will be able to gain an upper-hand by using their already strong positions to get ahead of the competition, which will naturally take some time to adjust to the new rules. However, the move to regulate is seen by most as a way to increase competition, rather than further cement the positions of these dominant operators.

How will the legislation be enforced?

A number of measures have been discussed as enforcement options including ISP blocking of unlicensed sites and warning messages alerting potential players that a given site does not hold a valid gaming license. The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling does not favour ISP blocking, but does back the idea of warning messages, allowing the player to then make an informed decision.

Will this make Sweden competitive as compared to other countries?

The ability for operators to apply for licences to operate in Sweden will certainly create competition within the iGaming sector itself, but some critics claim the 18% tax rate is too high, citing the UK’s 15% tax rate a more competitive rate. While nothing has been set in stone yet, there will no doubt be further discussion on whether to bring the tax rate into alignment with the UK in order to make Sweden at least as competitive.

What is the objective of this proposed legislation?

There are several overall objectives, including creating competition and a more regulated iGaming environment, but the main objective is to entice Swedish iGaming operators to return home from places like Malta, where huge firms like LeoVegas have offices. Whether or not the legislation will pass seems a foregone conclusion in the affirmative. What remains to be seen in the coming months are the final details and exactly when the new rules will kick in.

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