The gambling situation in Sweden is a bit different from other EU countries and is even in some ways a bit behind the advances made by, say, the UK government in terms of gambling. Ever since the Lotteries act in 1994 gambling is legal in Sweden with the main regulatory authority being the Swedish Gambling Authority. Even though many changes have been made to the law, only one Swedish company has thus far been licensed to offer such services to players in Sweden – the state-owned Svenska Spel. This has led to much criticism regarding its monopoly position. However, even though on paper only Svenska Spel is legaly allowed to host online-games, there are loopholes that have allowed players in Sweden to freely access different European gambling websites such as Mr Green and 888. Furthermore, according to a report by Lotteriinspektionen the market share for operators in Sweden without a gambling license is the staggering 73 per cent for the first quarter of 2018. Which means that with the advance of the internet and new technologies – the monopoly position of Svenska Spel will soon be history.
5 things you should know about online casinos in Sweden!
Please take your time to read this page before choosing Swedish casino to play at.
Some facts about the Swedish gambling market in our infographic:
After years of criticism and numerous attempts by competitors, in the summer of 2018, the Swedish government finally proposed a new law that challenges the monopoly position of Svenska Spel, as well as gives way to an entirely new regulatory framework which will make room for private competitors in the market. The bill has been called “A re-regulated gambling” and is spearheaded by the Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi. Its main provisions include:
– 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.
– Licensed operators must have a comprehensive duty to protect gamblers from excessive gambling.
The bill is expected to become law on the first of January 2019. Since the bill has been proposed there have been 55 new applicants for a license by the Swedish Gambling Authority in order to provide online gambling services to clients in Sweden. Even though the situation for the Swedish gambler has been dire the last twenty years in comparison to the UK, this will change with the likelihood of up to 55 new licensed gambling websites opening up for business in Sweden at the start of 2019.
Until then, we advise players in Sweden to visit and bet only on the websites of the company Svenska Spel, or European websites that are licensed by the relevant authorities in their countries – for UK online casinos it is the UK Gambling Commission and for Malta it is the Malta Gaming Authority. Always search for a license on the casinos website before deciding to put in money for betting!
Best casinos in Sweden
First of, perhaps the most important factor for a Swedish player is whether the casino allows deposits and withdrawals via SEK (Swedens currency). Players in Sweden should always take notice of this when browsing through an online casino. Another thing to have in mind is whether the casino has a Swedish language option. Many online casinos specifically targeting Swedish players have that option.
For newbie players the best casino in our view is the Rizk Casino. It is licensed by both the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority, and has a reputation for being both credible and favorable for players. Diverse payment methods, including e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller are supported. It also welcomes starters with a 200% bonus which means you get double your initial deposit for playing.
Another two very attractive options are Ikibu Casino and Casino Heroes. They are also both licensed and regulated by the two main gambling regulators in the EU – the UKGC and MGA. Their websites are available in Swedish and there are bonuses of up to 100 per cent for first deposits. As a matter of fact – Ikibu Casino gives you 200 euro in bonuses.
Customer Support carries imense weight in any business and online casinos do not differ from the pack. Players should be able to get in touch with representatives of the casino for possible grievances, problems withdrawing or any other issue at hand. We consider it a huge advantage if customer support is available around the clock 24/7. A variety of channels for communication is also valued by reviewers and players. The online casino should provide email, phone calls and live chat.
Withdrawal time and wagering requirements
All casino players prefer an online casino that doesn’t make them wait for withdrawals more than 24 hours. Reviewers wholeheartedly agree – clients of a casino should be able to cash out quickly and in a straightforward manner. Players should note that anything above 24 hours is excessive.
Even though bonuses and promotions may be very attractive for newbie players – they should note that more often than not such bonuses are tied with “wagering requirements.” These provisions require a player to wager a certain amount (say 10 times the initial deposit) before being elligible for withdrawal of his funds. Always look through the website for such provisions, before registering with the casino.
Recently reviewed & upcoming Swedish online casinos:
Some of them might not be available for players yet.
Spelinspektionen Warns Payment Processors Off Serving Unlicensed Casinos Posted at: 13 September 2019 In an update, published on September 12 at the “Media coverage” section, the Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen…
Four Swedish Casinos Face Tough Penalties; Snabbare and ComeOn Pay the Largest Fines Posted at: 22 August 2019 On Thursday, August 22, the Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen announced that it…
Spelinspektionen Continues Crackdown on Non-Compliant Casino Operators Posted at: 05 Jully 2019 The Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen keeps issuing warnings and financial penalties to casino operators that violate the country’s…
Among the reasons for the monopoly position of the state-backed Svenska Spel were the fat and nice profits for the government from tax revenue. The rate for gambling winnings registered in licensed online casinos in Sweden is about 30 per cent.
Playing at an online casino that does not have the proper license issued by an EU-regulator and afterwards not declaring your winnings to the tax authorities means tax evasion and is considered a criminal act.
As of 2019 the tax rate on winnings is expected to be lowered to 18 per cent.
Sweden Online Casinos FAQ
Yes, Sweden has liberalized its online gambling market and allowed international casinos to apply for gambling licenses. However, operators call for guidance from the regulator as the lack of clarity is a reason for hefty financial penalties. Some casinos ceased serving Swedes, while others such as LeoVegas, insist on updating the regulations and making them more transparent and easier to follow.
The Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspectionen) is the authority that awards gambling licenses, imposes fines and monitors if the licensed operators adhere to the gambling laws.
Well, we haven’t met anyone fined for playing at an international casino. However, you have to make sure you pick a casino with solid reputation as more often than not, offshore casinos are frowned upon for delaying payments and confiscating winnings for no apparent reason.
Trustly, Klarna, and zimpler are among the most popular country-specific payment methods, but Swedes can also use Visa, MasterCard, as well as e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller.
Well, there is no clear-cut answer to this question.
As mentioned earlier, the Swedish gambling laws are too strict and more often than not, Sweden is among the countries where bonuses are unavailable. That’s why it is important to read the Bonus terms of the casino and check if Sweden is in the list of excluded countries.
Also, out of fear for fighting the Covid-19 lockdown boredom with online gambling, the Swedish authorities imposed a temporary betting limit of SEK5000 per week.
Swedes cannot claim a welcome bonus if it exceeds SEK100. The deposit cap came into force on July 2nd and led to a chaos and massive outcry from both licensees and players.
If you are an individual player you don’t have to pay a tax for your casino winnings.