The Swedish iGaming market was considered a grey unregulated market until the start of 2019. Therefore, any online casino could take Swedish players and advertising was rife across the country’s broadcasting networks, especially during the advert breaks in live sports events. Now, however, things have changed significantly with the introduction of the Swedish Gambling Authority (known within the country as Spelinspektionen). Therefore, any gambling activity within the country is strictly regulated by Spelinspektionen, and any company wishing to tap into the Swedish market must apply for a Spelinspektionen licence. In fact, even the state owned Svenska Spel that used to have a monopoly on all real money casino games in Sweden now falls under the rules and regulations set up by the Swedish Gambling Authority.
There was much confusion when the Spelinspektionen licence was first created, as any online casino wanted to market themselves in Sweden had to prove that they were compliant with rules that hadn’t even been finalised at the time. This situation created a mess, as you can well imagine. So, even if a casino wanted to play by the book, the book hadn’t been finished yet.
This situation, while somewhat improved since it was first introduced, still pervades the iGaming industry in Sweden to this day. This is because the final version of the rules and regulations have not been completed, due to the fact that Spelinspektionen has yet to figure out how best to regulate the market. So, while online casinos are not completely in the know when it comes to the rules, they are nevertheless being issued with fines and warnings and told to implement changes yesterday. This, of course, is a huge headache for online casinos and has led to a situation where many have pulled out of Sweden altogether, and we certainly don’t blame them. Those willing to brave the constant changes, however, are sticking to the rules of the Danish Gambling Authority (Spillemyndigheden) and the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), seeing as these are two of the strictest authorities – the theory being that sticking to the severe rules in those countries should mean they stay ahead of the game in Sweden.
Sweden is not only a massive market for various iGaming businesses, but it also where lots of the big names got their start. Casumo, Betsson, Mr Green, Unibet, LeoVegas, Cherry Casino and many others were either founded by Swedes or have their headquarters in Sweden. Therefore, as all of these companies wanted to have a strong player base in their home country, they offered bonuses to those players by the dozen. Not any more, however, as the new rules of
Spelinspektionen strictly forbid the offering of online casino bonuses or promotional campaigns.
Swedish players can still receive a welcome bonus, so long as it’s not excessive in any way, so it’s not all doom and gloom. The reasoning behind this decision is that while a player can be enticed to sign up as any advertising should encourage, it should not enable players to spend more than they otherwise would if a welcome bonus didn’t exist. This, of course, is to protect vulnerable players who may be susceptible to gambling addiction, which is also backed up by third party sites not being allowed to use certain language when talking about Swedish casinos.
Finally, Spelinspektionen is very hot on Anti Money Laundering (AML) rules, as well as ensuring that all casino games are entirely fair. This, after all, protects Swedish players in every way.
Address: Finningevägen 54 B, Box 199, 645 23 Strängnäs, Sweden.
Phone: +46 0152-650 100