Despite the current political instability in the country, the Swedish Parliament is preparing to implement several new gambling reforms. An update of the current system rather than a complete overhaul, the new rules introduce new B2B vendor licenses and additional measures against unlicensed operators. The regulations for gambling advertising and slot machines on the ferries between Sweden and Finland remained unchanged.
Suppliers Will Have Four Months to Obtain a License
The most significant change in Sweden’s newly proposed gambling reform is the introduction of licenses for online gambling operators. Spelinspektionen, the country’s gambling regulator, announced it would hold a meeting with companies affected by the change on December 7. Participants will receive detailed information on the transition, which must be completed by July 1, 2023. Providers will apply for one of the initial 70 licenses granted to companies already participating in the Swedish-regulated market. The permitting process begins March 1, 2023, giving applicants approximately four months to comply before the deadline. The government decided on an application fee of 120,000 SEK (11,500 USD), which is the same as other laws.
Several Proposed Updates Did Not Make the Cut
Other notable changes include increased controls against unlicensed play. The new measures aim to exclude unregulated operators from the Swedish market by expanding the ban on marketing illegal and unlicensed games. The changes aim to ensure a robust consumer protection and gambling market. Some proposed measures have yet to be included in the new legislation. The agreement between Sweden and Finland on the regulation of slot machines on international board ferries remained unchanged.
The government believed that the current regime was working well and that any disruption would affect operators, passengers, and shipping companies. Another proposed reform that fell through was a bill for stricter moderation of the most harmful types of gambling and an outright ban on high-stakes gambling ads during the day. The committee eventually rejected the proposed changes because of the very ambiguous wording of the text. If implemented, such a ban would also negatively impact media revenues without providing any proven benefit. The government noted that it is too early to discuss marketing reforms as the current regulations are still present.
Sweden Boasts Harsh and Effective Regulations
The new Swedish government should soon vote on this final version of the game reform. Spelinspektionen expects the process to be completed without incident, as indicated by the ongoing preparations to implement the new B2B vendor licenses. While the minor changes may take until July to be implemented, the little changes are expected to come into effect in early 2023. Sweden’s new reform package aims to refine existing regulations without introducing too many disruptions. The country’s gambling regulations are among the strictest in Europe, and Spelinspektionen is more than willing to enforce them.
Gaming operator ATG was recently fined a hefty SEK 6 million ($570,000) for neglecting anti-money laundering procedures, while SG International was banned entirely for operating without a license. These cases show that the Swedish gambling market remains safe and sustainable.