The Swedish government formally adopted legislation to re-regulate the country’s gambling market, with the licensing process for online gaming now expected to begin on August 1st
“Unregulated gambling has taken over and gambling is used in criminal activities. It is 14 years since the first of a line of gambling inquiries was appointed. It is now time for us to move from words to action and regain control of the Swedish gambling market,” says Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi.
The gambling act now being proposed will mean that anyone operating in the Swedish gambling market must have an authorised licence and that operators without a licence will be shut out. There must be stronger consumer protection in place for gambling, and the negative effects of gambling must be limited. A new offence, gambling fraud, will be introduced and a special cooperation council will be established to tackle match fixing.
Gaming operators that intend to apply for a licence will have to pay SEK400,000 (€38,800), and should the company want to offer both online gambling and betting, this fee will be set at SEK700,000 ( €67,900 ). Gambling subject to licensing will be taxed at 18 per cent.
The gambling market will be divided up into sectors: a competitive sector, primarily including online gambling and betting; a sector reserved for non-profit purposes, primarily including lotteries and bingo; and a sector reserved for the central government, primarily including state-owned casinos and gambling on token machines. Gambling subject to licensing will be taxed at 18 per cent. Gambling for non-profit purposes will continue to be tax exempt. Winnings will be taxed when players win money on unlicensed gambling websites.
“We are reinforcing the Swedish Gambling Authority, granting it more and sharper tools. Unlicensed operators will be shut out of the market and licence-holders must conduct their activities in accordance with the law. Today we are also instructing the Swedish Agency for Public Management to follow up the reform to quickly make any amendments to the act if the goals of the reform are not achieved,” says Mr Shekarabi.
Further proposals in the Bill:
- Licensed operators must have a comprehensive duty to protect gamblers from excessive gambling.
- Strict requirements for moderation in marketing gambling will apply.
- Gamblers must be able to bar themselves from all gambling, and bonuses will not be permitted at any time other than the first gambling occasion.
- The possibility of blocking payment transactions between gamblers and unlicensed gambling operators will be introduced to ensure unlicensed operators are shut out of the market.
- The Swedish Gambling Authority will also be able to order internet service providers to set up warning messages for websites offering unlicensed gambling.
- Promoting gambling without a licence, for example through advertising, will be criminalised.
It is proposed that the new regulations enter into force on 1 January 2019, licensing process for online gaming now expected to begin on August 1st 2018.
Source Goverment of Sweden
See the previous post Sweden submits gambling legislation for European Commission