Online iGaming industries all over the world must comply with a set of government regulations. Some are quite reasonable, encouraging fairness, preventing addiction, and making sure everything is in the best interest of their users. On the other hand, some rules can be more restrictive on your personal freedoms. Regardless, we can agree that unless you have been told them specifically, they can be confusing irrespective of the country you are playing games from. 

In this post, we are going to tackle the ins and outs of the Swedish online casino market. In particular, we will see how the elimination of the state gambling monopoly affected the online casino market and how things are progressing in 2021. 

A Quick Overview of Sweden’s Online Gambling History 

Gambling in Sweden has quite a long history. In fact, it knows its origins date back to when the Vikings conquered the lands. Legend has it that the Swedes used a dice game to settle a land dispute with Norway during the 11th Century. 

Since then, Sweden has experienced a number of changes in terms of laws and regulations. In fact, things started to change drastically when the state gambling monopoly was established back in 1934 to ban illegal gambling activities.  

At the time, lots of Swedish casino players opted to play casino games at the four land-based casinos or cruise ships. However, things became a little more complex now that we’re living during a time where online casinos are constantly on the rise. 

According to the Swedish online gaming team at, more and more Swedes are becoming interested in playing online due to the convenience factor. You can just switch on your laptop or your mobile device and just like that, you can play your favourite games. No need to get dressed up and travel anywhere!

This meant that it became even harder for state-owned Svenska Spel to monitor gambling activities. Seeing as the state gambling monopoly was set up years ago, it comes as no surprise that it has been the cause of many problems within the Swedish gambling industry. In fact, the European Commission was never completely on board with it either seeing as it was limiting competition from foreign gaming operators. 

Things finally took a turn for the better once the EU put more pressure on Swedish lawmakers to discuss the possibility of the re-regulation of the Swedish market. After losing so many market shares to international casino operators, the Swedish government finally realized that the state gambling monopoly is not the way forward. 

At long last, the state gambling monopoly was finally abolished and implemented on 1st January 2019. Since then, the Swedish Gambling Authority has been accepting license applications that adhere to the new gambling laws. 

Key Points from the New Legislation 

Gambling regulations in Sweden aren’t so bad for players as it is not a criminal offense to create an account and place bets online. However, there are restrictive laws you have to consider you are operating an online casino.

Bearing this in mind, here are the main points from Sweden’s new gambling legislation (SFS 2018:1138): 

  • Companies need to pay 18% tax for commercial gaming
  • Six different licenses offered
  • 0% tax for charitable gambling events
  • Licenses prices vary – 400,000 – 700,000 SEK
  • The legal age is 18+ to play online and 21+ to be able to enter a land-based casino. 

Besides increasing revenues, the main objective of the re-regulation of the market was to create a safer online market for all parties involved. In the long run, this has improved online safety, game security, and match-fixing. 

Types of Licenses

State owned gamesCasino games, slot games and some lotteryOnly for state owned companies
Public purpose gamesSome lottery gamesOnly for non-profit organizations
Commercial online gamesOnline casino games, slot machines and bingo Companies that meet the following criteria 
BettingAll forms of online and land-based bettingCompanies that meet the following criteria 
Commercial landbased gamesSlot games and card games outside a casinoCompanies that meet the following criteria 
Cruise ship gamesCasino games and slot machinesShips on international waters

The new legislation applies to all forms of gambling (including online gambling) that are targeting Swedish players on both an offline and online basis. In this way, foreign operators will have a fair chance to compete with Svenska Spel where advertising and marketing issues are concerned.