Sweden’s online gaming legislation is slowly taking shape although the application phase for the new licenses has been delayed a month to August 1.
The new law will not come into effect though until 1 January 2019. The application for admission to the offer of online casino games will cost €38,800. Operators wanting to offer both casino and sports betting must pay €74,000 just to be considered in the application process.
Taxation has been set at an 18 per cent tax on gross sales.
Ardalan Shekarabi, Minister of Civil Affairs, said: “We have strengthened the powers of the Lottery Inspectorate who will now be known as the Game Inspectorate and have given the Authority more and more powerful tools. Unlicensed operators will be closed down and licensees will conduct their business in accordance with the law. We have also given an assignment to the State Office to follow up the reform in order to quickly adjust the law if the objectives of the reform are not met. It is crucial that sustainable funding for the community is not jeopardised.”
The new Gambling Act will replace the existing Swedish legislation from 2019 onwards. The new law puts a stronger focus on player protection by the providers and the government with self-locking for gambling addicted players being mandatory along with the ability to turn off content so that it does not continue to display. Operators will only be able to use bonuses as an incentive to register and only at the time of the first game.
To protect against illegal providers, the Swedish government also has the ability to block unlicensed providers and block access to their websites. Payments between players and potentially illegal providers can also be stopped.
The new legislation divides the Swedish gambling market into three areas; the open/competitive market, good causes, state land-based. The first of these is described as an open/competitive market for new providers with new licenses who are active in the field of online casino or sports betting.
Another part of the sector deals with charities offering lotteries and bingo for the common good whilst the third relates to operators of land-based gambling halls and casinos as well as automat entrepreneurs.
There is no tax for gambling for the good cause, they are exempt from the 18 per cent duty on gross sales. The new law also determines what kind of games will be allowed in Sweden in the future. Online bingo, online slots, dice and card games as well as roulette are therefore permitted under the new licenses. Betting on sports events and sports leagues are also fully licensed.