Online Gambling Changes Coming to Sweden

Published March 27, 2014

Online Gambling Changes Coming to Sweden

Recent changes to the laws in Sweden have allowed new operators to enter the online gambling market.

Until recently, access to the lucrative gambling market in Sweden was very restricted. The state owned Svenska Spel company had a virtual monopoly on the country, and although technically other operators were allowed to attract Swedish players, in practice the local government only granted a 'special' gambling license to their own group. This meant that anyone else trying to set up an online gambling enterprise would ultimately be unable to operate properly, with several trying and failing, and gave Svenska Spel a very unfair advantage.

However, this practice has been severely criticised by the European Union, and the issue even came before the European Court of Justice a number of times. On each occasion, the Court ruled in favour of the Swedish government, so little or nothing was done to change the situation.  Continued pressure from Brussels eventually forced some change and in recent times, the Swedes have started to relax the laws somewhat and allow competitors to enter.

The Swedish population have embraced the new entrants to their country, and now there are several online gambling operators who are trading successfully in what is one of the most mature and sophisticated markets in Europe. Unibet were among the first to open the doors to Sweden, closely followed by such well known groups as Gala who have launched their own site specifically for Swedish users.

With a newly opened gambling sector, residents of Sweden are now starting to enjoy the benefits of having lots of choice, and are fast catching up with other countries in Europe and beyond where both online and land based gambling is an established part of the leisure industry.

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