Thursday 22. October, 2015

Online Gambling Framework in Sweden to Come Under Review

The online gambling framework in Sweden has come under the spotlight as the government-owned monopoly is struggling to keep up with the rapidly growing igaming market in the country.

The gambling monopoly of Svenska Spel may come to an end under pressure from the European Commission. Sweden failed to revise its restrictive gambling policies and regulations to make them more consistent with the policies of the EU.

EU policy encourages online regulation, while in Sweden, only operators which hold a Swedish gambling license can accept wagers from Swedish players. By dissolving the monopoly of operator Svenska Spel and Lotteriinspektionen the regulatory body, Sweden’s gambling market will be able to open up to online operators that originate in Sweden and allow offshore operators to enter the market. The revision of the gambling laws will aim to protect both the player and the operator and will primarily impact international operators who wish to enter the Swedish market.

Sweden’s Ministry of Finance agreed last month to a comprehensive review of its gambling framework. Dissolving the monopoly will also results in an analysis of services offered by Svenska Spel which reported a 5 percent drop in sales in the first half of last year compared to the year before.

Most Swedish ministers have indicated their support of reforms with the Minister of Public Administration, Ardalan Shekarabi, announcing that he would be happy to lead the initiatives. A September 2018 deadline has been set for developing new gambling laws to be more in line with the EU policies. This will come at the same time as Sweden’s next general election.

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