Sweden is working on changing the way its gambling industry functions and the authorities are going to do it with the help of the new more liberal gambling regulation. The said legislation is expected to be officially issued next year, as the gambling authorities are currently working on it. The proposed new liberal regime is going to put an end to the gambling monopoly of the state-owned Svenska Spel, a news which has been highly-anticipated in the gambling field of Sweden.
With this move, the authorities of Sweden are attempting to grant well-known online gambling operators working on an international scale with the opportunity to legally participate in the gambling market in the country. This Thursday saw the announcement that the government of the country has sent a copy of the gambling legislation, amounting to 1,340 pages, to the European Commission for vetting. Next year and 20th March in particular is expected to see the end of the formal standstill period, which means that the authorities will have the right to accept all applications for new gambling licenses by July.
As it has been previously confirmed, the official launch date of the new more liberal gambling sector is going to be 1st January, 2019. Ardalan Shekarabi is the Minister for Public Administration, and he stated that the ultimate aim of the new legislation will be to bring back the control of the Swedish market and provide equal rights for all online gambling operators. At the moment, as it was confirmed by the numbers stated by the Lotteriinspektionen gaming regulatory body, online operators which have licenses to operate on an international level make for a quarter of the total gambling sector of the northern country.
Regulations of the New Legislation
The new legislation is going to guarantee the state will oversee the operation of land-based casinos, major lotteries, and gaming machines located outside large gambling venues, like those devices that operate in pubs and clubs. However, the major change which is anticipated by many is in the virtual realm. Online betting, casino, and bingo will be open to international qualified applicants. The same goes for other digital products such as virtual sports which will now have the chance to be managed by foreign companies. The minimum time period for which a license could be issued is going to be five years. The gambling operators which receive the permission to operate in the country will then have to pay 18-percent tax on their gaming revenue.
It has been specified that all gaming servers must be based in Sweden and exceptions are going to be made only for operators who have licenses in jurisdictions legally accepted by Sweden. Another case which could allow gaming servers to be located abroad will be if the operators give remote access to the Swedish authorities so that regular inspections could take place. The new framework will also aim to protect all customers participating in gambling activities in Sweden, as well as issue penalties to all operators who conduct their business without the legal permission to do so. Such entities will face large fines, as well as up to two years in prison.