The country has presented a draft law to parliament to proposes a new online regime by 2019.
Sweden.- The government of Sweden confirmed on Thursday that it sent a copy of a draft gambling legislation to the European Commission for vetting. The Swedish government is confident that the new market launch date could be set for January 1, 2019.
Whilst the standstill period is expected to finalise on March 20, the government wants to start accepting application for new licenses by July 2018. Ardalan Shekarabi, Minister for Public Administration, said that the legalisation aims to take back the reins of the gambling market of the country.
Lotteriinspektionen, the Swedish gaming regulator, has been showing for months that internationally licensed online operators have been expanding their services in Sweden and now control one-quarter of the overall gambling market.
Whilst the new legislative piece gives the state control over lotteries, land-based casinos and gaming machines, the online sports betting sector, casino, bingo and other online products would be open to applicants that meet the required regulations. The licenses would be valid for five years, and licensed operators would pay 18 percent taxes on gaming revenue.
One of the biggest changes would be that servers must be based in the country, even if some exceptions can be made for those who are in jurisdictions that Sweden accepts. Those who are based outside the European Economic Area have to establish a representative in the country.
The opening of the online market comes with a tougher regulations, such as a strengthening on the control, as it is believed that consumers being better protected give more chances of a clean industry: gamblers must be 18 years to participate in wagering, except those who enter land-based gambling facilities, which will be required to be 20 years or above.
Operators that don’t meet their license obligations can revise fines totaling as much as 10 percent of their annual turnover. Unauthorised operators offering services to Swedish players, or even those who promote the services, can face higher fines and prison time.
The Swedish government also gives the chance to licensed online operators to promote their products without any type of punishment, as long as they’re not targeting minors. If an operator signs a sponsorship with a sport team, it has to make sure that the logos and brand names don’t appear on products targeted for minors.