Swedish Regulatory Body Lotteriinspektionen Issues Its First Batch of Online Gambling Licenses Although the licenses will formally become active on January 1, 2019, several gambling operators have received their Lotteriinspektionen online gambling licenses. The list of licensees includes some obvious operators, such as Svenska Spel, but also some notable omissions. The Swedish operator, which will rebrand next year as Spelinspektionen has announced the list of 16 license recipients on Friday, November 30. Camilla Rosenberg, Lotteriinspektionen Director-General said that this marks a historic day for the game, praising her staff for processing 95 gambling license applications and issuing the licenses under severe pressure. 70 out of 95 gambling license applications they have received since August 1, 2018, were for online operations. The Online Gambling License Recipients The obvious recipients of the license are the former gambling monopolies AB Trav & Galopp (ATG) and, of course, Svenska Spel. The state-run monopolies, which were signing supplier deals left and right will finally be able to offer the online casino products they were continuously denied under the previous regulatory regime in Sweden. A number of internationally well-established and licensed operators headquartered in Sweden, such as Kindred Group, Betsson and LeoVegas also received licenses. Kindred Group has several of its brands licensed now, so will operate using Maria Casino and Unibet. Betsson, on the other hand, managed to get its Sverigeautomaten and Nordicbet brands licensed, as well. Pontus Lindwall, Betsson’s CEO who confirmed Betsson's license for online gambling and betting, commented that this license will make competition on equal levels and will give Swedish customers an access to the games they want to play under Swedish regulation, which is, in the long term, good for shareholders, operators and customers. He added that he’s happy Sweden opened their gaming market for free competition under controlled gaming environment. He said that they're looking forward to operating on their home market, as a recognized operator. Other familiar operators that were found on the list were PartyGaming, SkillOnNet, Bet365, Tombola, GVC Holding’s brand Bwin, Interwetten and SuprPlay Ltd. While others received the standard licenses with a five-year duration, LeoVegas, GVC and Casumo managed to get licenses with a two-year duration. This is an interesting turn of events since these 3 operators have been very recently fined by the UK Gambling Commission for various reasons. GVC and LeoVegas were sanctioned for misleading bonus offers and advertising, while Casumo for failing to protect players from gambling harm. On the other hand, SkillOnNet, which is a respected operator, has received a license for the major part of its online casino brands, including EUcasino.com, PlayMillion.com, SlotsMagic.com, Cozino.com, LuckyVegas, GiantCasino, etc. The Omissions in the First Batch of Licensees It is also notable that there are some major omissions, since many top-notch and worldly-known online gambling operators have applied for Lotteriinspektionen’s licenses, yet, their names were not found on the list. The Operations Manager for Lotteriinspektionen Patrick Gustavsson commented that the remaining applicants would likely be examined and processed over the next few weeks, all depending on the complexities of their cases. In addition, Camilla Rosenberg said that, in cases where they consider they must monitor the operator more carefully, they will grant a license for a shorter duration. For instance, this will be the case if infringements have been made by those operators in other markets in the past. Clearly, this goes for the three operators mentioned earlier, Casumo, LeoVegas and GVC. She additionally said that one of Lotteriinspektionen’s objectives in reforming legislation was to achieve a high channelization, so the fact that so many gambling operators were targeting the Swedish market was gratifying, and they will do everything in their power to make them part of the new licensing market next year. Lotteriinspektionen Reminds Licensees of the Restrictions on Betting In the press release issued on Friday, the Lotteriinspektionen did not forget to remind licensees of the restrictions on betting, since almost all of the applicants received a license for online betting in addition to online gambling. The Gambling Authority warned them that in the battle against match-fixing, Lotteriinspektionen will play a coordinating role. The operators must adapt, therefore, to the following restrictions and comply with them taking full responsibility. Betting is forbidden for participants under the age of 18; inappropriate or offensive betting from a general point of view is not permitted; in areas subject to the forthcoming regulations for the prohibition of match-fixing, betting is not allowed. In addition, the Swedish Gambling Authority reminded operators to join Spelpaus.se, the Swedish national self-exclusion system, and add the logos for responsible gambling and self-exclusion at the top of their websites in order to help the construction of a safer gambling market and help players to better control their gambling.