Published on October 12, 2015 in Industry News

iGaming laws in SwedenSweden could see acceleration in the reform of the iGaming laws in the country after an announcement by the Gambling Minister of Sweden.

The new laws introduced by the Swedish Gambling Minister will lead to a loosening of the country’s online gambling regulations by 2018.

For the better part of a decade, Sweden’s online gaming services were provided by a single company that is owned by the state. The company, Svenska Spel, has been the only legal entity allowed to service the country and yet this has done very little for putting an end to illegal and unlicensed gaming countries from operating.

Steps in the right direction

According to a statement by the Secretary General of Sweden’s Association of Online Gambling Operators, Gustaf Hoffstedt, on the Global Betting and Gaming Consultants (GBCC) website, the coming weeks hold a bright future for the country’s gaming laws.

While there was previously much talk of accelerating licensing and regulation systems in Sweden, there has been little to no movement since this announcement by the country's Minister of Public Administration, Ardalan Shekarabi in October of 2014. Hoffstedt stated that "Sweden’s gambling legislation has traditionally been and still is very disconnected from the realities and demands of the market."

EU disapproval

Due to the monopoly held by the Swedish state-funded company, there are two EU cases currently open against Sweden. The restriction of gambling licenses is an imposition which the EU claims is in conflict with its own rules on free movement of services. The Swedish government has come under fire from the EU for “imposing restrictions on the organisation and promotion of online betting services in a way which is inconsistent with EU law.”

The need for change

While for some, 2018 may seem like an impossibly long time away, the arrival of iGaming could be closer than previously thought. If all goes smoothly, the government’s goal of implementing a new licensing system will be making change within a few weeks.

Only time will tell what effect these changes have on the Swedish gambling system, but many are holding out hope that it will have only positive results.