From January 1, 2019, the new casino regulation will enter into force. This means that the Swedish market will allow casinos to run their operations in Sweden if they have a Swedish gaming license. Below is a list of the casinos already licensed. The Lottery Inspectorate is a source and we will update the list as soon as more players receive their licenses.
At present, casinos can offer their services to players in Sweden as long as they have a license in Europe. The casinos mainly have their licenses in Malta, Gibraltar and the UK. In Sweden, there is no possibility for privately owned casinos to apply for a license. Officially, the Swedish state has a monopoly on lotteries and odds games through ATG, but since monopolies are more or less prohibited in Europe, foreign casinos have been able to act freely in the country.
For several years, the government has worked on designing a framework for regulating online casinos aimed at Swedish players. This is in order to be able to take control of the market from foreign players, the opportunity to tax casinos (18%), reduce the risks of experiencing rogue players and at the same time provide the opportunity to create greater protection for persons with substance abuse problems.
We have previously seen the introduction of casino licenses in Denmark, the UK, Spain and Italy. These have all had a great impact on how casino operations work in these countries. For us players, the changes can affect us both positively and negatively – in essence, however, we believe that the positive will weigh over as we get a safer gaming experience that many can appreciate without all the risks that one actually takes when playing online. We welcome and therefore support the new licensing rules in Sweden.
Here we will gather everything we know about what will happen when the new rules come into force. We will start from the players’ point of view, as this feels more relevant than diving into what all means for the entrepreneurs. It should, however, be taken into account that nothing is yet carved in stone and that the authorities are currently not answering specific questions regarding all the points listed.
The license rules will mean many changes for those who want to play at the online casino in Sweden. However, there are three main points we as players should keep in mind already:
online slots casinoAll casinos will not be able to get a license. The large and more established players will no doubt be able to secure licenses from the first day. It would not be economically justifiable for these to lose the Swedish market. Even smaller casinos that run the latest technology and who already show pro on valuing players’ safety should be able to get a license quite easily. However, it should be noted that all casinos will not be as eager as the giants when it comes to being licensed as of January. If they are not licensed you will not be able to play – you can still play the casino against Swedish law.
In view of the above point, we recommend that Swedish players from now on only play at the casinos that they are sure of will acquire a license as soon as possible. To be sure that the casino you play on will get a license, you can get in touch with the casino’s customer service. As of September 2018, they will be able to answer whether the casino has applied for a license or not. Even if the customer service replies that they have applied for a license, we recommend that you withdraw the money from the casino in December to prevent them from being locked in a foreign casino if it turns out that they have not been granted the license.
When regulation has been introduced in other markets such as Denmark and England, this has forced casinos to stop supporting players from these markets.
Advantages: As we mentioned earlier, the introduction of regulation is often a very positive thing for the players, because higher demands are placed on control. This reduces the chances of risky gambling behaviors and makes it easier to discover and help people with gaming issues.
Cons: All our favorite casinos will not apply and some will wait to apply. The selection of casinos to play on will thus decrease significantly for Swedish players.
Will there still be so-called white labels?
In the casino industry, it is very common for companies to share technical platforms with each other to reach out to the players. This allows the companies to leave the technical bit to an operator and then focus on creating a good customer service or developing marketing strategies instead of focusing solely on the site. Even though the company that owns the casino and what drives the site are different companies, they can still use the same license. This is called a white label. Thus, a company is licensed by being operated by a licensed operator. The same applies to companies that own several different brands. An example of this is the Kindred group, which operates Unibet, Great Player and Maria Casino on a shared Maltese license.
Why is it important for the players to know this? This should be known as it is highly likely that the casino you are currently playing on parts license with a completely different casino. At the same time, the Swedish statutes of the law look at the licenses as individual. This can thus mean a big change towards how licenses work in other countries.
However, as we understand it, the license rules will not mean the end of shared licenses between different brands. However, some of the points introduced by the licenses will make it more difficult for shared licenses to work in practice. You will thus see that some brands will be licensed while their sister brands are not.