It has now been four years since the gambling market in Sweden was reorganised through a new regulation requiring the licensing of gambling operators. The new regulatory framework aimed to strengthen consumer protection and reduce the risk of gambling-related harm. Overall, the Swedish gambling sector has undergone significant changes during the four years since the reorganisation and this seems set to continue in 2023, as the Swedish government looks to increase regulation while also allowing for increased competition in the market.
What’s happened during 2022?
The year 2022 saw continued growth in regulatory intervention in the gambling sector in Sweden, with the industry experiencing significant development and expansion. One of the key developments was the introduction of new regulations governing the advertising of gambling products. The new rules, which were implemented in January 2022, aimed to protect consumers from excessive or misleading advertising by requiring operators to be more transparent about the odds of winning and the potential risks associated with gambling.
In addition to the advertising regulations, the Swedish government also introduced new rules governing the operation of online casinos and sports betting sites. These regulations were designed to ensure that operators were operating in a fair and responsible manner, with a focus on protecting vulnerable individuals and preventing problem gambling.
The implementation of these new regulations was accompanied by a surge in the popularity of online gambling in Sweden. This trend was driven by the increasing availability of high-quality, user-friendly gambling platforms, as well as the growing popularity of mobile devices and the proliferation of high-speed internet access.
What can be expected in 2023?
From a regulatory perspective, one of the key events is the introduction of a new licensing system for gambling software, which is proposed to enter into force on 1 July 2023. The licensing system is proposed to apply to anyone who manufactures, supplies, installs or adapts gambling software for betting online and commercial online gambling. The purpose of the system is to give the SGA a greater oversight of the supply chain and make it more difficult for Swedish subcontractors to provide services to foreign gambling companies without the knowledge of the Swedish authorities.
Businesses that provide gambling software are central to the provision of games, and gambling companies often depend on one or more external subcontractors. A similar regulation, which requires any person who manufactures, supplies, installs or modifies gaming software to have a gambling software operation license, already exists in Great Britain.
The Swedish gambling authority has stated that B2B license applications are allowed as of 1 March 2023.
The proposed regulatory changes also include stricter marketing regulations, where marketing targeting young people will be monitored, along with a requirement for license holders to provide and share information with the SGA.
Updates to the Responsible Gambling Regulations are also being suggested by the SGA. The proposal includes, among other things, automatic log-out if players have been inactive for two hours, clarifications that operators are not allowed to suggest deposit or log-in limits and a prohibition on reverse withdrawals.
Overall, the years 2022 and 2023 are marked by continued growth and innovation in the Swedish gambling sector, as new technological developments help to drive the industry forward, and new regulations are introduced to contain it. As the sector continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see further developments in the coming years.