Sweden is a Scandinavian Nordic country located in Northern Europe and is the third-largest EU member-state. It’s divided into twenty-one counties and 290 municipalities, with a population of 10.2 million. The capital city of Stockholm is also the best for gaming – with three casinos offering poker rooms and hundreds of slots, table games, and video poker machines.
While gambling online in Sweden has been legal for some time – both at land-based casinos and online Swedish gambling sites – a new Gambling Act was passed in June 2018 and went into effect on Jan 1, 2019. Officials hope these new regulations reduce the use of unlicensed online operators, keeping more of the profits at home and taxable.
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We’ll analyze Sweden’s new laws in later sections, but it’s important to highlight that while these regulations may incentivize the use of locally licensed Swedish gambling sites, they do not criminalize the use of offshore options. Instead, the new rules mostly focus on gambling website operators and banking institutions, who they hope will block transactions to foreign domains.
This means you’ll still be able to turn to Swedish gambling sites which are licensed in other jurisdictions to find any markets unavailable within the country. However, doing so requires taking some calculated risks. Offshore sites offer far fewer consumer protections to gamblers, meaning you must make intelligent decisions concerning which foreign website(s) to use.
Why Are These Sites Recommended?
Our team of gaming experts has determined the Swedish gambling sites included in our list of recommendations to be the very best. We carefully research and review every potential recommendation based on a range of metrics which give us excellent insight into the quality of these operations. Thus, we can guarantee a top-notch gaming experience to all of the readers who use our lists.
We won’t bother you with every single variable and detail that goes into our comprehensive review process, but there are some specific qualities that all of our recommend share. Our team can confidently promise that any Swedish gambling sites found at LegitGamblingSites.com will always meet the following basic standards.
Legitimacy, Reliability, and Safety
When reviewing gambling sites in Sweden (or any other jurisdiction), there is no aspect more significant than legitimacy. Ensuring that all of our recommended Swedish gambling sites are safe and secure is our highest priority because the offshore gaming industry is plagued by scammers and unethical operators hoping to profit off novice gamblers’ lack of experience and knowledge.
Web-based gambling generates tens of billions of dollars per year in revenue, which attracts thieves and their very real-looking scam sites from every corner of the internet. Our team of experts is dedicated to identifying and blacklisting every rogue operation and selecting nothing but trustworthy online Swedish gambling websites to share with our readers.
Ease of Use
Sure, safety and reliability are the top priorities, but we also take numerous factors into account that merely affect the customer experience. For example, we study how easy a Swedish gambling site is to navigate, place bets on, and use with mobile devices.
Website design and navigation are particularly crucial for locations offering sports betting since there are time constraints caused by the odds coming off the board at the start of game time. Being able to locate and place a wager quickly will minimize – if not outright avoid – the frustration of missing your window to bet.
Friendly and Fair to Winners
Another focus of our efforts is ensuring that the Swedish gambling sites we approve are honest and fair in their treatment of winning gamblers. There’s a terrible trend in online gaming involving operators using outrageous claims and practices to cancel or reverse successful wagers.
We’ve seen website admins levy accusations of players cheating or being professional gamblers and then use these charges to rationalize voiding the bets. Our team works diligently to avoid sharing such domains. If you’re not allowed to be successful, what’s the point?
Valuable Bonuses and Loyalty Rewards
Lucrative deposit bonuses have become commonplace in the internet-based gambling industry. We even include them in our list of Swedish gambling site recommendations. Gaming providers gift new customers with free money early on, allowing novice players to test things out without dipping into their own bankroll. Lots of locations offer to match 100% or more of your first deposit, significantly increasing the size of your account before you ever place a single wager!
Loyalty rewards programs bring additional value to the table. After developing some fairly consistent gambling habits, your site will start awarding points and/or tiers that will determine the types of prizes available to you. These levels or point systems can be used to earn cash back to erase some of your losses or give you merchandise, free meals, gift cards, or anything else.
Is Gambling Legal in Sweden?
Yes, gambling is legal in Sweden, both at land-based locations and Swedish gambling sites. This includes casino games, sports betting, lotteries, bingo, poker, horse racing, slots, and other terminal-based machines.
The country’s central regulatory entity is the Swedish Gambling Authority. Responding to pressure both from local gaming operators and the EU Commission, Sweden passed a transformative new gambling law in late 2018, which went into effect in early 2019. This new set of regulations introduced six new licenses, set new limits on bonuses, enacted greater consumer protections, and ended the monopoly on online gambling.
While the old rules allowed Svenska Spel to be the sole licensed online operator, the monopoly caused friction with major players in the gambling industry, who believed it violated the EU treaty. Despite Sweden consistently receiving favorable rulings from the European Court of Justice, the government realized the statutes needed an upgrade.
Svenska Spel’s monopoly may have meant that there was only one online gaming operator with a Swedish license; there were no laws against citizens utilizing offshore gambling websites. As a result, the country saw significant sums of money crossing over its borders into jurisdictions like Malta, Cyprus, and Gibraltar.
These new regulations will allow private commercial operators to apply for Swedish licenses and lawfully service the nation’s residents. As a result of these legal pathways given to foreign site-owners, allowing them to offer action in Sweden, increased efforts are being made to prohibit unlicensed domains.
The Six New Types of License
- State-Owned/Monopolized License – Only state-owned providers like Svenska Spel are qualified for this permit that will regulate casino games, slots, and some lottery variations.
- Public Purpose License – This license is available to non-profit organizations exclusively and only allows for certain types of lotteries.
- Commercial Online Gaming License – This Swedish online gambling license allows private, commercial entities to legally offer casino games, slots, and bingo to Swedes online.
- Betting License – This license covers both offline and online sports betting in Sweden and is available to all commercial operators that meet the qualifications and apply for a permit.
- Commercial Land-Based Gaming License – Any qualified gaming corporation may apply for this license, which allows them to provide slot machines and card games in non-casino facilities like betting parlors.
- Cruise Ship Gaming License – Ships floating on international waters may apply for this license, giving them the right to operate casino games and slots onboard their vessels.
As for continuing to use offshore Swedish gambling websites in spite of the new statutes, it’s still possible for now but may become more challenging in the near future. Using unlicensed operators is not a criminal offense; however, several sections of the new bill address restrictions that Sweden is planning to impose on them.
While the individual gambler has nothing to worry about, the law plans to stop banking institutions from allowing transactions between Swedish citizens and illegal offshore gambling sites. It’s also possible that local internet service providers will eventually be tasked with blocking access to the unlicensed domains.
Sweden’s Primary Gaming Regulations
- Swedish Gambling Act (2018)
- Swedish Gambling Tax Act (2018)
- Gambling Ordinance (2018)
- Regulations on license applications (2018)
- Regulations and advice on responsible gambling (2018)
- Regulations on exceptions from registration requirements (2018)
- Regulations and advice on state lottery and lottery for good causes (2018)
- Regulations and advice on commercial gambling and betting (2018)
- Regulations and advice on land-based commercial gambling (2018)
- Regulations and advice on gambling on ships in international waters (2018)
- Regulations and advice on technical requirements and the accreditation of bodies to test, inspect, and certify gaming operations (2018)
- Swedish Money Laundering Act (2017)
- Swedish Gambling Authority’s regulations and advice on the prevention of money laundering and financing terrorism (2017)
- Swedish Act on Payment Services (2010)
- Swedish Marketing Law (2008)
- Swedish Distance and Doorstep Act (2005)
- Swedish Consumer Services Act (1985)
Sweden’s History with Gambling
Sweden began accepting licensing applications for the new regulations in August of 2018.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is gambling legal in Sweden?
Yes, all forms of gambling are legal in Sweden. As of January 2019, there are six available licenses covering the full range of gaming activities for private commercial businesses, state-owned operators, non-profit organizations, and cruise ships.
What are the risks involved with using an unlicensed gambling website from within Sweden’s borders?
Besides the potential dangers of using an unvetted, unlicensed site, there are no legal risks involved with using offshore gambling sites in Sweden. However, following the implementation of the new Gambling Act and related licensing regime, the gaming authorities may explore blocking the unlicensed domains and barring banking institutions from processing transactions between account holders and illegal gambling sites.
How will the gambling markets be divided amongst state-owned and private operators?
Online casinos and sports betting will be open to both domestic and offshore private commercial businesses.
Land-based casinos and gaming machines will remain under the government monopoly.
Lotteries and bingo will belong to non-profit operators for the purposes of fundraising.
Does Sweden tax winnings from gambling?
Yes, the new Gambling Act applies a flat 18% tax on gross earnings for all licensed gaming activities.
What are the age requirements for gambling in Sweden?
One must be 18 years of age to play with licensed operators online and at least 21 to enter land-based establishments.
Who licenses the regulated and legal online gambling sites in Sweden?
The Swedish Gambling Authority is responsible for licensing and supervising all six of the country’s legal markets.
Can I access one EU country’s legal online gambling site from Sweden?
Yes. For years, Swedish gamblers have turned to site operators in Gibraltar, Cyprus, and Malta for gambling activities not provided by the monopoly. With the new Gambling Act in place, licensed foreign websites may eventually be blocked, but there are no punishments for citizens who choose to continue visiting offshore providers.