The current gambling laws in Sweden are based on the theory that all gambling will do best under governmental control. However, a recent committee by the Swedish government just released a report suggesting that the Sweden needs to make some reforms in the gambling sector in order to deal with the growing online gambling market.
In Sweden, a gambling operator must operate under one of three type of license entity. These are, AB Svenska Spel (“Svenska Spel”), a state-owned company; AB Trav och Galopp (“ATG”), a company owned by Swedish non-profit horse racing associations and with significant state control; and non-profit public interest associations.
These types of permits are ill-equipped to deal with the constantly evolving gambling technology that have over the past twenty years. This is especially true with the growing number of foreign gambling companies that increases their share of the Swedish market every year. Since the current Swedish law only applies to Swedish entities with a government permit, this has resulted in a large portion of the market being unregulated in Sweden.
In order to help regulate this, the gambling committee in Sweden has proposed the following reforms:
- The divison of Svenska Spel, where physical gambling establishments like casinos and lotteries would continue to operate under a state monopoly while sportsbooks,sports betting operations and other online gambling companies will move to a partially deregulated market.
- Selling the Svenska Spel operations that will be active on the deregulated market.
- The disintegration of the ATG’s monopoly for horse racing as it would be moved over to the deregulated market.
- Providing licenses for the deregulate market that wishes to do business in Sweden
The deregulated gambling market in Sweden will bring many opportunities to foreign online companies according to Mr. John Ramirez, the president of a sports betting software provider in Central America. Even though, sports betting and virtual sports betting websites will have to pay an extra fee to operate in Sweden, they will now be able to legally offer their services to the Swedish population.
In addition, all gambling companies will be able to compete in a regulated atmosphere while at the same time being held responsible for managing social gambling issues.
For the moment, the committee’s report is being submitted to relevant governmental agencies and if the report is deemed appropriate, it will be drafted into a proposed bill. The government is hoping to present the new Bill in the Fall of 2018 and to have it made into law by January of 2019.