Sweden’s liberalized gambling scenario
It was last year December when the Swedish government opened its doors to a liberalized gambling system by sending a draft proposal to the European Commission. The formal timeframe was set till 20th of March this year, and the authorities intended to accept gambling applications from July. The country’s gambling market was set for an official launch on January 1, 2019.
An influx of applications
Lotteriinspektionen gaming regulatory body recently announced that they have already received sixty applications from gambling providers to operate in the new gambling ecosystem of Sweden. Fifty-five of these sixty applications urge for sports betting and online casino licenses. Some of these applications were, however, incomplete and the regulatory body has already informed applicants to finish the form before the launch date.
Lotteriinspektionen noted that it does not have proper answers to some of the queries submitted by operators, for whom knowing the particulars of responsible gambling and meeting integrity obligations is of utmost importance. The regulator also implied that it could not grant any notice of the new legislation’s interpretation concerning marketing and advertising restrictions.
Camilla Rosenberg, the director general of Lotteriinspektionen, expressed that the “extremely short” period between the law’s approval and launch date makes autumn a priority season to process applications and decide the license-granting process. Many gambling operators are, however, expecting the regulatory body to clarify the gambling rules in the country before the launch date.
The deluge of applications is a clear indication that the country needs to enact reasonable gambling rules for online operators. Sensible tax rates (which is 18 percent of revenue currently in Sweden) is one of the most crucial aspects that Lotteriinspektionen needs to keep in mind. It has to reduce restrictions on the kinds of products operators can sell online for channeling local gamblers to sites licensed in Sweden.
The new gambling law maintains control over land-based casinos, gambling machines, and lotteries, but casinos, online sports betting, bingo, and few other products will be accessible to all applicants who qualify for the license. Gaming operators must be located in Sweden, but have to set a representative in the country if they are located outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
The Swedish government also launched the test-version of its Spelpaus.se system, which is a self-exclusion gambling system enabling players to keep out of real money-based gambling activity, either for some time or indefinitely. Gamblers on the exclusion list will not be subject to gambling or marketing activity of any sort.
Source – Igaming world