It was up until 2018 that only state-owned casinos could legally operate in Sweden. Although foreign sites still accepted players from Sweden, it was illegal, and they could not obtain a proper license at the time and that is when the new Swedish Gambling Act came into force on 1st January 2019.
Any form of gambling directed at the Swedish market without a Swedish license is illegal, and it also prohibits abetting or aiding, including marketing and advertising, of anything on gambling. The new Act, accompanied by secondary legislation, is regulated and controlled by the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA).
Topics regulated by the SGA, amongst many other things, include prevention of money laundering (ML) and financing of terrorism (FOT) and giving general advice on the measures to be taken. However, social games and skill games do not fall within the scope of the new Gambling Act, so therefore such activities do not require getting a license from the SGA, although all winnings from such games are still taxable.
Gambling licenses are only available to business-to-client (B2C) operators, whereas suppliers of equipment and games are not, but applicants are required to submit a certification of their gambling system by an independent and accredited testing house, which covers certification of that equipment and games. The validity of granted licenses is usually five years maximum but may be subjected to a lesser number of years, depending on valid circumstances. Licenses may be revoked if any non-compliance of the regulations are found.
The license fee for getting commercial online gambling is 400,000 SEK, but online gambling operators are also subjected to an annual supervisory fee of 30,000 SEK (2,910 EUR), up to 500,000 SEK (48,500 EUR), depending on their gross gaming revenue (GGR). However, all license holders need to pay a fixed supervisory fee of 450,000 SEK (43,650 EUR) for its first year of operation.
The Swedish Gambling Authority offers self-exclusion services like the one we have seen in the UK Namely Gamstop. License holders should inform the players of the self-exclusion option and shall provide a link to the page on the Swedish Gambling Authority’s website where one can submit a self-exclusion according to the gambling act. Upon players trying to register the license holder can then check whether the player is self-excluded from gambling and thus deny player registration. Checks will be performed regularly whenever the player login to his gambling account and if it revealed the player self-excluded, the player will be denied access to his gambling account