New laws for internet gaming in Sweden are still in the works and are expected to be introduced on 1 January 2019 but Lotteriinspektionen, the Swedish Gambling Authority, has announced that it will open a licensing window in the summer.
The application process for new online gambling licensees in the country will start on 1 July 2018 and for now, there are no restrictions on the number of licensees the regulator can award to operators.
All applicants are to meet certain criteria set by the regulator and the government, and the applicants will be carefully inspected as how well they can manage gambling activity in a responsible way, provide a high level of customer protection and maintain good security and duty of care.
One of the biggest changes will be that servers must be based in the country, even some exceptions will be made for those who are in jurisdictions that Sweden accepts. Unauthorized operators will face high fines and even 2-year prison time.
Sweden is heavily working on changing the way the gambling industry functions in the country since new, more liberal gambling regulations are heavily needed. Foreign operators have been targeting local players for years and Sweden’s unregulated iGaming market accounted for a quarter of the country’s whole gambling sector in first nine months of 2017.
Unlicensed operators generated revenue of €40.5 million of the country’s €166 million of total revenue for the period.
The official launch of the new, more liberal gambling sector is going to be 1 January 2019 and the aim of the new legislation is to bring back the control of the Swedish market and provide equal rights for all online gambling operators.
The biggest change is expected in online betting, casino and bingo since they will be opened to international qualified applicants. The minimum time period for which a license could be issued is going to be five years.
The ones that receive the license to operate in the country will have to pay 18% tax on their gaming revenue. The reform will be closely monitored by the regulator to see if further changes are needed.
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