Gambling in Sweden: Gaming Industry in 2020-2021
6.1. Price Policy
Sweden is the most liberal state in Europe. The basic democratic principles apply to all areas of the country's life, including entertainment and the gambling industry. The gaming business is recognized as an absolutely legal activity in Sweden. It is represented by both ground-based establishments and an extensive range of online platforms.
Interestingly, the vast majority of adult citizens have tried real money gambling at least once in their life, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health. The average annual industry turnover is over 40 billion kronas.
The first mention of real money gambling in Sweden is dated 200 A.D. In addition, there are some recollections about card games in the annals of the 15th century.
The first gambling house was working back in the eighteenth century. Later, casinos appear almost everywhere until the ban on the 19th. The church outraged by the "decline in morals" of the parishioners, was the initiator of the prohibition.
At the end of the 19th century, the country started its first lottery. The gambling business was revived almost completely by the middle of the 20th. The state apparatus legalized lotto and sweepstakes.
In 1999, the Gambling Act came into force, and casinos became a legal form of entrepreneurship. The result was twofold. On the one hand, the gambling industry in Sweden gained legal status, and on the other, all entertainment formats were controlled by a monopolist (national operator).
The Svenska Spel brand is a state monopolist in the gambling field. The company has about 2 thousand employees today, and its representative offices are opened in several regions of the country. The supplier controls 53% of the local gaming market.
Here are the most essential facts from the company’s history:
- The concern was founded in 1997. The company was formed as a result of the merger of two enterprises aimed at gaming industry development within the country.
- The brand received permission to launch totalizators and other online gambling projects in1998.
- It obtained the right to open ground-based establishments in 1999. A subsidiary was created for this purpose. All land-based establishments work under its logo.
- A significant expansion of the online offers range was in 1999. The brand becomes the only legal supplier of virtual lottery entertainments (digital and sports products).
- The company was appointed as a state-owned online poker provider in 2006.
Cosmopol is the only operator of ground-based locations since the late nineties. In total, the land-based sector is represented by four establishments with a centralized range of services. The annual profit from the gambling business is about $5 billion.
Swedish land-based gambling business
Cosmopol Sundsvall Casino
The institution has been operating in Sundsvall since the summer of 2001. The station building (an architectural monument of the nineteenth century) was chosen for the location. In addition to traditional entertainments, more than 150 slot machines are offered to players. Besides, a night club and catering points are operating here.
Cosmopol Malmo Casino
The complex is located in a city park. It has:
Cosmopol Goteborg Casino
The gambling house has been working since mid-2002. The building was constructed on the territory of the estate (architectural monument near the Göta älv river). The establishment includes:
Cosmopol Stockholm Casino
This establishment has been operating in the capital of the country since March 2003. Here you can find:
Online gambling is one of the most popular types of leisure activities in Sweden. The country focuses on the development of digital technologies and information security, so all national products of the virtual gambling industry are well protected.
Thanks to this approach, the users can be confident in the safety of their data. On the other hand, the players are required to indicate not only their personal data but also the social security number, personal account, and name the amount available for spending on gambling within seven calendar days during the registration process.
All the collected information is used to create individual user offers and generate reports based on which tax rates for operators are calculated.
The state apparatus does not attempt to limit the Internet business. This market is recognized absolutely legal. It is open to foreign operators. Interestingly, the holders of Maltese and British licenses own about 47% of the Swedish virtual segment.
The Swedish gambling market has been and remains to be very attractive for the vast majority of European operators. Even before the new law came into force, the European betting business made active attempts to promote its products on the Swedish market.
Here are the most successful companies:
- The British giant Betsson;
Foreign gambling business does not have financial obligations to the government apparatus of the country. The only mandatory payments are license and tax fees.
Contribution to the treasury is slightly higher than the average sum in Europe. It is 18% of the company's turnover. The purchase of permission will cost about 8-70 thousand euros.
There is no doubt in the strictness of control over the implementation of the standards established by the license in the country with the most developed social responsibility.
Bookmakers should remember about such nuances:
- There is a strict ban on sports betting with citizens under the age of 18;
- There is no opportunity to attract players using bonus programs (the first bet after registration on the service is an exception);
- The operator is forbidden to provide credits for sports betting;
- The registration of betting participants with the provision of personal data and information about a social number is mandatory.
The main news that brought the Swedish gambling business to an entirely new level of development is the entry into force of legislative changes that opened the local market to foreign suppliers.
Since January 2019, the Swedish gambling industry is divided into three separate sectors:
- Competitive segment (products of remote bookmakers and casinos).
- The sector of public goals.
- State representation.
Another innovation is the adoption of a fixed tax rate on any sum won (18%).
The state regulator has provided a special type of authorization documentation for each real money gambling format.
Six license options are presented on the market since the beginning of the year:
- permission on organizing a remote business;
- on sports betting;
- on organizing casino games in the offline segment;
- on conducting gambling activities on ships in neutral waters;
- on the organization of gambling enterprises in the sector of the public need;
- licenses reserved for the state apparatus.
Applications must be submitted in written form (only in Swedish). License validity is no more than five years. The legislation allows issuing licenses to legal and private individuals.
The cost of permission depends on the format of the gambling services provided by the operator:
- 400 thousand kronas for online bookmakers and casinos;
- 700 thousand kronas for a combined license for bookmakers and online slot rooms;
- 60-150 thousand kronas for permission on organizing lotteries;
- 30 thousand kronas for organizing bingo draws;
- 3.5 thousand kronas is the price of ground-based sweepstakes;
- 2.8 thousand for permission on opening a slot machines network and 3.6 thousand kronas for the installation of technical units (the installation of gaming equipment on the territory of shopping centres, bars, and hotel complexes without opening a full-fledged gambling house);
- 70 thousand kronas is the cost of the land-based slot machine halls organization;
- 4-15 thousand kronas for a license allowing conducting card games tournaments.
According to 2017 data, the turnover of the local gambling market in Sweden amounted to about $2.7 billion. At the same time, the revenues of the unregulated virtual industry exceeded 650 million (13% more than in the previous quarter).
Experts are sure that the elimination of the state monopoly will open up attractive prospects for foreign operators. Moreover, the expected income from the casino industry will grow by 6% by the end of this year.
Interestingly, NetEnt, the world-famous manufacturer of gaming content, is registered in Sweden. The brand’s product, called Mega Fortune, entered the Guinness Book of Records for the largest jackpot in the history of online casinos (17 million euros).
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