The Swedish gambling market is a good business opportunity. Licensing Gaming experts explain the special aspects of regulatory framework and the terms of gambling service licensing in ground-based and online segments of Sweden.
Sweden has always been famous for more loyal business environment, as compared to other European countries. At present, absolutely any type of gambling activity is allowed in the country, including ground-based casinos and gambling rooms, bookmaking, lotteries and their remote platforms; however, the State has gone quite a long way to the liberalization.
It should also be noted that remote segment operation rules were toughened since January 1 of the current year, when \reviewed legislation was enacted. To analyze the Swedish gambling market situation, data from public sources, comments and notes of Licensing Gaming experts in licensing gambling companies on Malta and Curacao were used.
An important point concerning the country-specific aspects of gambling development in Sweden is the degree of citizens’ involvement. As reported by Swedish Ministry of Health, most of full-age population of the country have, at least once in their lifetime, taken part in a gambling entertainment.
Swedish gambling regulatory framework
For a long time, Svenska Spel was a monopolist operator of the Swedish licensed online gambling market. Despite numerous attempts to make the market open and competitive, this became only possible after the Government’s initiative for legislative changes, enacted since January 1, 2019.
Pursuant to a new Swedish legislation, the gambling market was divided into three sectors: competitive (remote casinos and bookmakers), for public purposes, governmental. One of innovations was 18% tax on winning.
The right of operators licensing was transferred to the country’s gambling regulator – Lotteriinspektionen, and the process of issuing permits to operators started in Summer 2018. The national authorities have worked on modifications for over one year and a half, and many regulations previously applicable have been toughened.
Types and terms of gambling licensing in Sweden
Every type of gambling service in Sweden requires a special permit. In all, there are six types of gambling licenses in the country:
- For remote casino operation;
- For bookmaker’s services;
- For gambling services in ground-based casinos;
- For services onboard vessels in international waters;
- In the segment reserved for the State;
- In the segment reserved for public needs.
The license application shall be submitted in writing, in Swedish language. Permit can be issued for a period not exceeding five years. A decision of the regulator shall specify the type of gambling activity for which the license is issued. If, upon expiry of the license, the company still complies with all market, State and gambling regulator’s requirements, a permit for operating in the jurisdiction can be re-issued.
Pursuant to the Swedish law, a licensee may be an individual or a company.
“In case if a licensee is not a resident of the European Economic Area, the company is obliged to hire a representative who will be authorized to act on its behalf. This can only be a Swedish resident”, – Licensing Gaming experts comment on the details of the Swedish gambling licensing.
The law provides for certification and accreditation by a special institution as to compliance of the technical equipment to all requirements of the national gambling market. Fee payable for such a certificate can vary, depending on licensee’s gambling system coverage, and other factors. A licensee is also obliged to pay licensing and supervision fees.
Fees for various types of licenses
Bookmaking and online casino license will cost SEK 400 thousand each, or SEK 700 thousand for the both kinds of gambling operations. Lottery permit can cost between SEK 60 thousand and 150 thousand.
One of widest-spread types of gambling in Sweden is bingo, a license will cost SEK 30 thousand.
In the ground-based gambling segment, horse racing stakes are a specific kind of services. Business owners will have to pay a registration fee of SEK 3.5 thousand.
Swedish licenses for gambling machine operation are relatively inexpensive. An applicant will have to pay SEK 3.6 thousand for installation of machines, and SEK 2.8 thousand for a license.
Ground-based gambling venue business is considered highly liquid in Sweden; therefore, the legislation provides for several licensing options. A licensee will have to pay SEK 70 thousand for operating gambling rooms.
Swedish legislators consider arrangement of card tournaments as a separate business. A license fee varies between 4 thousand and 15 thousand Swedish crowns, depending on the number of competitions held.
Licensing Gaming experts believe that, although the Swedish gambling market is one of Europe’s most loyal jurisdiction, the latest legislative changes have toughened considerably operators’ activity regulations and strengthened the Government’s control of the industry.
“A provision requiring appointment of an authorized person being a resident of the country, who will be responsible for the company’s business operations, makes the business complicated and can hinder entry into the market”, – Licensing Gaming expert says.
The need to obtain several types of licenses complicates operators’ activity, however, provides for efficiency and transparency in gambling business. An important risk factor for companies is high density of competition.