Ever since the inception of the online casino business, Sweden has had a massive impact on the overall industry. From being a leader in software development to operations to the love of gambling, this Nordic country has taken full advantage of everything that it has been afforded as a nation. However, does the government’s stance on gambling match the force that the country has become in this emerging space? The answer may surprise you as much as it surprised us when researching this page.
Gambling Regulations in Sweden
As we mentioned, gambling is definitely a popular pastime in Sweden. From having one of the most popular hockey leagues in Europe to a large national lottery and grooming some of the best poker players in the world, there is clearly a desire to gamble. Perhaps the long winter nights that give people more reason to be inside that helps a little, but much like the rest of Europe, we think it is just in the fabric of the country.
IN an attempt to regulate the industry and reap the maximum tax benefit from it, the Swedish government passed the Lottery Act in 1994, making all dice, card and lottery games legal, but only issuing one license to Svenska Spel, the state-run gaming organization. This monopoly was further cemented when the government added a Casinos Act in 1999, extending the license to include all casino games and sports betting, and an amendment to that act in 2002 added the online element as well.
To this day, the only legal online gambling that takes place in Sweden happens through Svenska Spel. This did not sit well with the European Union, whose mandate has been to break up monopolies like this across more industries than just gambling. This has caused tension between Sweden and the Union, with the battle being taken to the justice system.
Through all of this, what was lost is that while there is law in place that makes what Svenska Spel is doing legal and regulated, there is nothing stopping players living in Sweden from accessing sites that are based outside the country. As a result, there are still hundreds of online casinos that Swedes can visit to play their favorite slots and Table Games, and companies like Poker Stars continue to take massive amounts of revenue in from these citizens.
The Swedish government has given a lot of lip service to this battle with the EU, with rumors of some form of open gaming market terms being discussed as far back as 2013. However, every time there seems to be a conversation on the topic, it quickly fades into the background for another period of time. Recently, it seems like there is finally some movement on the topic, as in December 2017 the government released the draft language for a new Gaming Act. According to what was released, this would open up the market to online sites who wish to apply for a license. The government plans to award the first licenses in the summer of 2018, with these licenses going into effect on January 1, 2019.
Now, we have heard this before from other countries as well, so we will keep an eye on the situation and will continue to update this page with any news.
Online Casino Software Available to Swedish Players
With no real restrictions from the government with regards to what software can be marketed to Swedish players, the choices that players get are some of the best in the entire industry. Now, a software supplier can choose to not accept players from Sweden, but with no current penalty, only a handful have chosen that path. For now, players from Sweden can expect to find software from a wide range of companies including these ones:
- Play ‘N GO
- Real Time Gaming
Many online casino software companies are either based in Sweden or have a development arm there, so it is not surprising to find so many high-quality options available to players from the country.
Best Online Casinos for Swedish Players
The same argument goes for the types of casino sites that Swedish players can find to play online slots and Table games. It may be more difficult for players to get their money to and from some offshore sites, but this has not stopped many players from taking their gambling balances to these sites rather than stick with the regulated option of Svenska Spel.
We have reviewed many online gambling sites that are open to Swedish players, putting each one through its paces trying to find the best options for our readers. While there are many that we would recommend, this shortlist of sites includes ones we think have the best combination of excellent content and customer service, which are two key components any casino worth playing at should have. We hope you will enjoy playing with any of the following sites.