The Swedish state gambling monopoly may soon be replaced by the new setup. The government of Sweden requested Hakan Hallstedt, Lotteriinspektionen general director, to investigate the possibility of changing the current monopoly of the industry to a new system that would allow multiple companies to be licensed and taxed.
Currently, the online gambling monopoly is held by state-owned Svenska Spel. Even if the changes were approved, Svenska Spel would keep its monopoly on land-based casinos and slot machines.
International operators would be welcome to apply for Swedish licences, if they’re willing to pay 18% tax on the gross gaming revenue. Operators who continue to provide their services in the Swedish market without a local licence would face strict penalties. The new rules are also paying extra attention to the strong consumer protection measures.
According to the Swedish Gambling Authority, licensed and taxed gambling currently makes up 77% of the Swedish gambling landscape. Within two years of the new measures taking effect, it is believed that 90% of Sweden’s online market will be controlled by locally licensed operators.
The aim of such changes is to bring foreign-based online gambling companies such as Kindred and Betsson to the country.
Lennart Kall, Svenska Spel CEO, was happy about the possible changes, saying it would put all online companies under the same rules and conditions.
Peter Alling, Head of Public Affairs Nordics at Kindred, commented: “We welcome the political consensus on the need for a modern gambling legislation, and the commitment that a new law will be in place before the next general election.For re-regulation to be successful there is no room for major changes in the investigator’s proposal. Delays will endanger the whole reform.”
The new regime should take effect in January 2019.