The Swedish government is conducting a wide-ranging review of its gambling sector and is set to consider whether Svenska Spel should be privatised and which blocking measures might best protect the market from unlicensed online operators.
State-owned Svenska Spel is the only operator authorized to operate casinos in Sweden and it does so under the Casino Cosmopol brand.
There are currently four casinos in the country located in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Sundsvall.
The long awaited review, announced in September 2015, will be headed by Håkan Hallsted the current director of its gambling regulator and will conclude by March 31, 2017.
The study is expected to lay the foundation for Sweden’s future gambling regulation and put forward proposals for a licensing model where “high consumer protection” is the focus and unlicensed operators are kept out of the market.
The negative effects of gambling should also be limited and the level of funding to the government and good causes should be “retained to the highest possible extent”.
Among other things, the investigator has been asked to evaluate whether the state-owned monopoly operator Svenska Spel which also has a monopoly on online sports betting and poker, should remain under the ownership of the government.
The age limit for casinos is 20 years of age and registration is required to enter a casino.
The Swedish government places considerable emphasis on addiction prevention and player protection.
Casino Cosmopol holds mandatory training programmes in responsible gambling for its employees. The staff also have proactive dialogues with guests aged 20 to 24 who visit the casino more than once a week during a three-month period, as they represent a high risk group.
Such proactive dialogues are also held with all visitors, irrespective of age, that visit the casino 20 times or more during a month.
Guests can sign voluntary agreements to limit their casino visits or to completely exclude themselves from the casino (different options available).
The marketing of casino games is restricted; for example, TV, radio and outdoor advertising is not allowed.
Casino Cosmopol has also launched “Let’s Play”, where guests can get an introduction to and understanding of the most common games with lower stakes. Responsible gaming advice is provided in the Let’s Play area.
In 2014, Casino Cosmopol made 315 suspicious activity reports to the Swedish Financial Police with regard to the anti-money laundering programme. The number has remained relatively stable in the last few years.
The Casino Act 1999 includes a prohibition on granting credits, prohibition on employees participating in casino gaming, socially responsible marketing that is not aggressive, responsibility to actively work against problematic gambling and maximum bet size and minimum re-pay percentage.
Problem Gambling Helpline – Organization: Stödlinjen (National Support Line)
Legal Gambling Age:Section 35 of the Lotteries Act determines that the minimum age to participate in gambling activities is 18 years of age. However, the Casino Act rules that the minimum age for access to a casino is 20 years.
Smoking Ban: Yes. However, smoking-permitted rooms are allowed.
Terrestrial: Monopoly (State-owned)
Online:Unregulated for casino games. The state-owned monopolist Svenska Spel is licensed to offer online poker & bingo. The Swedish government has launched a investigation into reforming the gambling legislation with a view to introducing a licensing system for other forms of online gambling.
Terrestrial:Roulette, dice & card games (and similar), slot machines, poker.
Online:Svenska Spel is licensed to offer online poker & bingo
Terrestrial:Swedish Gambling Authority
Size of Illegal Gambling Market:The most recent Swedish Gaming Board report (2014) states that unregulated gambling operators (i.e. operators without a national license) in Sweden generate gross gaming revenues of approximately €445m or approximately 20 percent of the total Swedish market.
Market Protection Measures / Tools to Tackle Illegal Gambling:Advertising restriction exist to prevent unlicensed offers of online gambling in Sweden but payment blocking and ISP blocking are not available as tools to regulate the market.
Currency : Swedish krona (SEK)
(Source:The World Bank)
GNI (2014, Local Currency, Millions): 39,04,804
Internet Penetration (Internet Users): 92.5%
(Source: The World Bank)
Mobile Penetration (Mobile Cellular Subscriptions): 128%
(Source: The World Bank)
Doing Business Ranking (June 2015):8
(Source: World Bank Group)
Last Updated: 1st September 2016