Already 55 Applications for Swedish Online Gambling License

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Staff member
May 3, 2008
The Swedish Gaming Regulatory Body Lotteriinspektionen Has Received over 55 Applications for Online Gambling License

A few days ago, the gambling watchdog, the Swedish gaming regulatory body Lotteriinspektionen has announced that they have received over 55 online gambling license applications. The new gambling regime is set to kick off from January 1, 2019. There are 60 applications in total, out of which 55 are for sports betting and online casino licenses.

In addition, Lotteriinspektionen shared that there were some applications that were incomplete or wrongly completed. In return, the regulator has started informing operators with such applications where they need to fill in the blanks and avoid the risk of not receiving the licenses due to incorrectly completed applications.

What Operators Know In Regards to the New Legislation So Far?

The Proposed Gambling Act, published by the Lotteriinspektionen in August 2018 is 31 pages long. It states the scopes of the act and the requirements on gambling operations. The restrictions, among other things, imply that gambling operators should strive in providing appropriate, safe and secure services and a high level of consumer protection. In addition, it states with the absolute rigidity that it does not support criminal activities. And finally, it advises operators to limit the negative impacts of gambling.

Additionally, it states that there will be certain types of gambling that will be limited, and urges operators to abide by the rules of the Act. The prerequisites of the license state that the applicants need to have the right amount of experience, knowledge, and organization skills to run an operation, hence to be fit to run an operation. The operator must put players' protection first, monitor behaviors and suggest help when needed. The players have the right to exclude themselves from gambling whenever they feel the need to. The operator cannot accept players under the age of 18.

Bonuses may only be offered solely on the first gambling occasion and only by a license holder. Any type of gambling advertising should be moderate and not targeted at people who have excluded themselves from gambling or are under the age of 18.

A Call for Clearer Rules

Although the Lotteriinspektionen has received all these applications, they haven't been entirely clear about how the new gambling legislation will approach gambling advertising and what the marketing limitations will be. This has become subject to criticism since the regulatory body noted that they still don't have the concrete answers to all the questions and cannot provide an advance notice as to what “moderate advertising” would mean.

Camilla Rosenberg, Lotteriinspektionen’s Director General, reminded operators that there was an extremely short period between the legislators approving the new Swedish law for gambling and the launch of the new gambling market, and asks for patience, promising that all uncertainties will be clarified soon enough. She emphasizes that the priority, for now, is to process all of the applications and decide on which operators will get the license.

Nevertheless, operators are still complaining and referring to the experience with Poland’s gambling market from 2017. The Polish regulator has issued only 10 licenses, due to the license limitations and 12%, which were announced quite late. In fact, the VP of the operator LeoVegas has proposed the Lotteriinspektionen to clarify the new rules for taxation and advertising before they issue the licenses so that operators could know where they stand. The proposed taxation, in that sense, could displease some operators, as some may not want to pay 18% of revenue. In addition, the recent changes in Italy which enacted a complete ban on gambling advertising and the tight proposed advertising rules by Lotteriinspektionen should be reconsidered.

The Obvious Need for Jurisdictions in Sweden

The operators’ demand for clarifications and the astounding number of applicants only confirm the need for jurisdictions to propose sensible regulatory rules which include a fair taxation rate, fewer restrictions on the advertising and the types of online products services that can be offered. Judging from other countries’ experiences and several studies, this is the only way to control operators but to also guide local online gamers to play at their own local licensed sites.

As Ardalan Shekarabi, the Minister for Public Administration, said, the new legislation should serve the country to get back the control of the gambling activities. According to data published at the beginning of this year by Lotteriinspektionen, internationally licensed online gambling operators serve approximately 25% of the Swedish gambling market. So, in order to reclaim the local market and gain control over gambling, the need for jurisdiction is more than obvious.

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