Regulations in Sweden
Swedes enjoy gambling from time to time – this comes as no surprise! Some historians trace the pastime back to the Vikings, who as legend has it, enjoyed not only table games and cards but also dice games and betting! For hundreds of years, people in Sweden gambled unofficially and with little to no regulation. In 1934 the Swedish government created a state-owned monopoly in an attempt to get a hold on illegal gambling and collect taxes. This evolved into Svenska Spel, owner of four land-based casinos in Sweden where the legal playing age is 20. Over time, the gambling market diversified and EU license holding casinos entered into the country.
In 2002 Sweden opened it’s doors to virtual gambling: online casinos, where the legal playing age is 18 and bets can be made from anywhere. Ever since Swedes have been enjoying a diversity of international operators in the online betting world. Just a few years ago, regulators started taking a closer look at the industry and in 2018 decided to close operations to all casinos, physical or online, that did not have a Swedish license. This past January the gambling world in Sweden changed drastically as EU operators navigated the application process and many more decided to close their operations there.
What does this mean for Swedes? Among other changes, they are new users for all casinos and have the ability to pause all gameplay nation-wide at once. It also means the Swedish government will be generating a lot more revenue on licenses and taxes. For casinos? It means either sticking it out through the market changes or withdrawing from the market altogether. Gambling is far from gone and will continue as always to be an accessible pastime for players. In 2019 Sweden turns the page on gambling, entering a new era of regulated play.