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Online Gaming in Sweden

Authored by - Nordic Gambling (Last updated March 2024)

Overview

Open

Sweden Online Gaming Overview

Regulated
The Swedish Gambling Act (2018:1138) allows any gambling operator satisfying the suitability criteria set out in the Gambling Act to apply for and be granted licences to offer online commercial gambling and/or betting to Swedish consumers.

Included in the product scope for online commercial gambling is online bingo, online casino (including roulette, baccarat, punto banco, blackjack, poker and dice games) and computer simulated gambling machines (slots). Betting, both online and land-based betting, are included in the licence scope.

Changes to the Gambling Act mean that as from 1 July 2023, B2B operators manufacturing, amending, installing or supplying gambling software to Swedish B2C online licence holders also require a software permit.

Land-based bingo, casino, lottery, poker, skilled games are – with few exceptions – reserved for the state monopoly and/or charity organisations.

For gambling operations, the relevant regulator is the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA). Within gambling, the SGA is also the regulatory authority when it comes to compliance with AML-legislation.

Market size
In 2023, the total net turnover for the gambling market amounted to SEK 27,1400 billion (approximately EUR 2,402 billion), of which online commercial gambling and betting represented a total of SEK 17,031 billion (approximately EUR 1,510 billion).

Competitive landscape
As of 18th March 2024, 56 companies held licences to offer commercial online gambling and 48 companies held licences to offer betting to Swedish consumers.

Furthermore, 14 companies held licences to offer casino products in amusement parks, hotels or restaurants, 4 to offer land-based goods gambling machines, 2 to offer land-based card games, 2 to offer gambling on ships in international traffic.

Statistics from the Tax Agency on the reported Net Revenue and Gross Gaming Revenue shows that the market is dominated by a few major companies and that the ten biggest licenced operators represents 75% of the turnover in the market.

Localisation
Main payment method used is direct debit and cards. Some online licence holders offer so called Pay N Play which means that players use bank login both to verify their identity and deposit. Some of the bigger online licence holders have been able to open Swedish bank accounts, which means they are able to offer the mobile payment method Swish, enabling players to deposit and withdraw with their mobile phones and phone numbers. Due to the supposed AML risk connected with gambling, banks are however generally unwilling to service the industry meaning this payment method is not available to a majority of operators.

Marketing shall be made in moderation and generally in accordance with the Marketing Act and Gambling Act but there are no limitations in terms of marketing channels.

Top Key Attractions and Challenges
Attractions

  • Relatively competitive product scope
  • Relatively easy market entry (licence process is not too onerous)
  • Acceptable tax rate at 18% (set to be raised to 22% on 1st July 2024) on Gross Gaming Revenue
  • No local presence required (the licence holder’s gambling system shall be placed in Sweden but exemptions are normally granted)
  • No limit on number of issued licences

Challenges

  • Market concentrated to top 5 online licence holders
  • Big leakage to unlicensed market (the SGA calculates that SEK2.400M was spent with operators without a Swedish licence in 2021)
  • Only welcome bonus (no retention bonus) permitted
  • Harsh sanctions from the SGA in case of violations
  • Unequal access of popular payment methods

Licensing & Regulation

Well-regulated / Unregulated (Open)

Sweden Online Gaming Licensing & Regulation

Licence Triggers
The main legislative act in Sweden governing gambling is the Gambling Act (2018:1138). In addition, there is a governmental Gambling Ordinance (2018:1475) and secondary legislation issued by the SGA pursuant to the Gambling Act. Other relevant regulations directly applicable to gambling operations include the Swedish Gambling Tax Act (2018:1139) and the Money Laundering Act (2017:630).

A licence...

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Enforcement

Regular / Punitive

Sweden Online Gaming Enforcement

Regulating bodies
Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) supervises compliance with both the Gambling Act and the Money Laundering Act. The Swedish Consumer Agency supervises the marketing of gambling services.

Supervision by Regulator
Monitoring methods
As part of its supervision, the SGA may e.g., visit premises of land-based operations or the location of the gambling system (servers). If equipment...

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Marketing

Permissive

Sweden Online Gaming Marketing

Regulatory action and supervision of marketing of gambling services is divided between the SGA and the Swedish Consumer Agency. The two regulators cooperate closely but have also agreed to divide the regulatory tasks between them.

Provisions regarding marketing of gambling services are mainly found in Chapter 15 of the Gambling Act. General rules applicable on all marketing are found in...

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Fees

Low

Sweden Online Gaming Fees

Application fees
Licence application fees are due at the time of application and amount to the following (all in SEK):

Licence for commercial online gambling 230,000 Licence for betting 230,000 Joint application for 1. and 2. 230,000 Amendment of key persons or owners 1,000 for a natural person and 3,000 for a legal entity

Ongoing fees
The annual...

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Taxes

Average

Sweden Online Gaming Taxes

Licence taxes
Gambling tax shall be paid to the Tax Agency by any licensed B2C gambling operator. The rate is 18% of the gross gambling revenue (stakes accepted – winnings paid out). Reporting is monthly and deficit cannot be carried over from one period to the next.

Sales taxes
There are no sales taxes applicable (unless the licence...

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Future Outlook

Uncertain

Sweden Online Gaming Future Outlook

A proposal has been made to adjust the penalty fee for licence holders that violate a provision of the Act (2017:630) on measures against money laundering and terrorist financing (the “AML Act”) or regulations that have been issued by virtue thereof. The proposal means that a fee for licence holder who violates the AML Act shall be...

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Legal Expert

Nordic Gambling

Office locations Denmark (Copenhagen) / Sweden (Stockholm) / Norway

Nordic Gambling is the only legal firm with established offices in both Denmark and Sweden which specialises in gambling related law.

The partners of Nordic Gambling are recognized as leading legal experts in the gambling industry. We have gained extensive experience in the industry from working with operators, suppliers, service providers and regulators. We have been closely involved in the development of the laws in a number of European jurisdictions, including Denmark and Sweden.

Our team is qualified to assist in any matter related to gambling, including licensing, compliance advice and public affairs. We also advice in areas closely related to gambling, including anti-money laundering, data protection, marketing, sponsorship, etc.

Contact this expert

Contact Sweden - Nordic Gambling

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