The early gaming regulations in Sweden had handed all powers to a state-owned company, giving it a grip on the gambling business. Things have changed, though, as the European Commission pressured Sweden to loosen up the market to compete with overseas enterprises. Following fears of European Union sanctions, Swedish legislators became more serious about seeking reforms to the system in the business.
Gaming Legislation in Sweden
Though it is allowed to play at Swedish online casinos, it is crucial to understand the limitations that once had been imposed. The gaming legislation can be fairly divided into two sections. Let us have a look at both of them.
The 1994 Lotteries Act
The Lotteries Act is legislation that governs the operation of lotteries and other games. The legislation governs the operation of lotteries, money guessing games, bingo, gaming consoles, roulette, dice games, and card games in Sweden. The Gaming Board of Sweden issues licenses and gives all games under this act to guarantee that they are run appropriately.
This law covers a wide range of actions to keep all lottery games in the public eye. Only non-profit charitable organizations and government-approved companies, such as national lottery and horse racing organizations, can operate lotteries and other associated games.
It is also against the law to advertise illegitimate and international lotteries. The primary goal of this act is to ensure that the games it governs are devoid of illegal behavior and do not threaten the public.
The 1999 Casinos Act
Certain table games, such as roulette, dice games, card games, and other similar games, are governed by the Casino Act of 1999. Land-based casinos are subject to most of this law, including age restrictions, prohibitions on extending credit to gamblers, record-keeping requirements, and various other gambling-related rules.
The 2002 Amendment to the Lotteries Act was enacted in 2002. This law was introduced to bring the regulations of online gaming up to date. Svenska Spel received the right to host online games and function as the sole licensed supplier of internet betting in Sweden due to this act.
Sweden vs. the EU
For a long time, the European Union has been pressuring Sweden to break international trade deals. The EU had already stated that Sweden’s state monopoly on gambling is a violation of EU law. However, Sweden responded by announcing that it will open markets to allow international businesses to compete and provide services.
Things became more severe over the years when the EU threatened international sanctions on Sweden. This finally prompted the government to take serious actions into opening the market to competition.
Gambling is very profitable for Sweden, and the government is reluctant to open the industry to competition. Therefore in 2019, Sweden finally removed the monopoly from the government and is now open to most of the countries. The Swedish Gambling Authority can now decide whether or not private operators will be granted a license to function in the country. There are still many limitations, even if they are not as severe as they once were.