December 7, 2018
The much talked about Lotteriinspektion – the country’s Gambling Authority – is set to have its funding from government potentially increased as Sweden enters the last stages of re-regulating its online casino gaming market. On completion of the process, the Swedish gambling regulator is likely to have even bigger responsibilities, according to a statement it released in April 2018. With larger responsibilities comes the requirement for larger funding.
The Swedish government recently launched a proposal in Sweden’s budget for granting an extra SEK 19 million to the country’s regulator. At the moment, it’s reported that Lotteriinspektionen receives in the region of SEK 50 million per year from the government in order to finance its casino gaming regulation activities.
The bigger budget, which is still subject to approval from the country’s lawmakers, is sure to help the regulator cover costs associated with its expanded responsibilities.
It is widely known that Sweden will be re-regulating its online casino market from January 2019. At the moment, regulated services are provided by a number of state-run enterprises, including Svenska Spel which holds the majority of the regulated industry.
As soon as the revised gambling law comes into effect next year, overseas gaming companies will be permitted to obtain an online casino operator license via Lotteriinspektionen and then go on to operate in Sweden’s regulated gaming environment. However, it’s worth noting that Svenska Spel will retain its monopoly over land-based casinos.
Furthermore, the country’s government presented a legalisation package for review by the European Commission late last year. The legislation didn’t receive any negative feedback which therefore means it is approved for the regulation of the gaming market.
Earlier in April, the Swedish parliament introduced yet another legislative piece containing greater details about the new rules under which its online gaming market would be regulated from 2019. Now, the legislation just needs approval from local lawmakers so that it can be implemented at the beginning of next year. It’s also worth noting that the European Commission will also have to approve the piece for it to take effect as law.
The country further has plans to tax its licensed operators at around 18% on gross casino gaming revenue. Foreign casino operators will be allowed to apply for either a single gaming license or a combined betting and casino gaming license. They’ll be expected to pay out a staggering SEK 400,000 for a single license and as much as SEK 700,000 for a combined license.
Lotteriinspektionen has confirmed that the process will begin as soon as August 1, 2018. Originally, the Swedish gambling regulator announced that applications would be accepted from the beginning of July, but the introduction of the second legislation has delayed the process by just a month.
Per Lotteriinspektionen’s latest report, the country’s gambling market is worth an eye-watering SEK 22,6 billion. Of that amount, the regulated market generated around SEK 17 billion in 2017 while currently unlicensed operators made approximately SEK 5,5 billion in revenue from offering services to Swedish players who enjoy online casino games like slots, poker, baccarat and more.