The Swedish gambling market
In 2017 the Swedish gambling market had a total gross revenue of SEK 22.6 billion. Compared to 2016, sales increased by 3.2%. A slowdown of the growth rate can be noted when compared with the previous period where the growth was 5.3%.
Trends in the Swedish gambling market (Source: Swedish Gambling Authority)
- Continued growth
- Fewer players play – but those who play play more
- Fast technical development, the technology-dependency in the industry is increasing
- Changed consumer behaviour, mobile platforms are growing
There are several authorities and organisations that work in one way or another with the gambling industry including the Swedish Gambling Authority, Finansinspektionen and the Public Health Agency. Many are working for a sound and healthy gambling market and with the consumer’s best in focus.
The legal framework for gambling regulation in Sweden consists of a large number of constitutions, such as the Lotteries Act, the Casino Act and the Marketing Act.
The new Gambling Act
It has been messy on the gambling market for many years. According to law, Sweden has a monopoly on gambling, where there is only state-owned companies (Svenska Spel) or state-controlled companies (ATG) who are allowed to provide gambling for money. Public service organisations (Postkodlotteriet, Folkspel, Miljonlotteriet, etc.) are allowed to arrange lotteries and bingo activities.
With the digitalisation, the monopoly has been put out of system and Swedish customers are able to gamble via operators who are based outside of Sweden. Therefore, a new legislation is required that includes those who have applied for a license and comply with Swedish regulations, and keep those without a license out.
In May 2018, after several years of investigations, the Riksdag voted in favour of the new Gambling Act which will be introduced on January 1, 2019. The new law will give a strong consumer protection and the negative effects of gambling are to be limited.
With the new law, cheating will be considered a crime and a special council will be set up concerning match fixing.
The gambling market will be divided: a competitive part, which mainly involves online gaming and betting; a part that covers gambling that has a public benefit, which mainly includes lotteries and bingo; and one part reserved for the government, which mainly includes casinos and token machines.
Operators with a license will pay 18% in tax on profits made on gambling in Sweden. Gambling for non-profit purposes will continue to be tax exempt. If a player wins money on a site owned by a non-licensed operator, the player will have to pay tax on the profit. For more information about the new gabling tax please visit The Swedish Tax Agency’s web.
The Money Laundering Act
On August 1, 2017, a new money laundering act came into force in Sweden. This means that the gambling industry is subject to the actions required by law by operators in order to prevent the business from being used for money laundering and terrorist financing.
The purpose of the Money Laundering Act can be divided into two parts, to prevent money laundering and to report if any deviation occurs in the business.
The tools mentioned in the legislation to achieve the purpose of the law are customer knowledge, ongoing monitoring of financial transactions, internal training and requirements for reporting suspicious transactions to Finansinspektionen.
In order to identify the internal risks, operators must carry out annual internal risk analyses that will serve as the basis for where the business will focus its resources according to the principle of a risk-based approach.