Gambling Laws in Sweden

Sweden is one of the freest countries in terms of gambling liberties via gambling legislation. However, most Nordic countries allow some form of gambling and between 60-80% of Nordic citizens state that they have engaged in gambling of some kind at least once over the past year. Lotteries are proliferating in Sweden and other Nordic countries, on the same note, Swedish residents can easily access domestic and online gambling offers with ease.

This page is specifically designed to provide information about specific SE gambling laws, Swedish gambling regulators, and available forms of gambling entertainment in Sweden. You will find relevant gambling legislation explained and be given insight into how these laws affect the existing gambling market in Sweden.

Is Gambling legal In Sweden?

Of course. Sweden allows multiple forms of legal gambling from charitable non-profit gambling to state-owned entities which operate domestically, to allowing offshore operators to enter the Swedish gaming market and serve Swedes. According to various Swedish gambling laws, most forms of available gambling is permitted. However, Sweden has recently adopted a law which could change exactly how offshore gambling operators may navigate within the SE market.

Swedish Gambling Laws

The 1994 Lotteries Act – This Act defined lotteries as the drawing of a ticket which is not dependent on whether a stake is paid or not and can include forms of guessing, betting, bingo, slots, roulette games, and dice and card games. Lotteries were restricted to be run by non-profits in Sweden, horse racing associations, or the Swedish Lotto. Under the Act, the Gambling authority is responsible for issuing permits for lotteries, as well as, allowing Svenska Spel the exclusive right to sports betting offers and the ATG the exclusive right to arrange horse race betting.

The 1999 Casinos Act – This Act established the need for a license to operate casino games, meet obligations to curb money laundering and terrorist financing, and provisions to only allow no more than 6 land-based casinos in Sweden. This act created regulations often seen in most countries with physical casinos such as records keeping, oversight entities, age limits, and fee structure.

The 2002 Amendment – This amendment changed provisions within the 1994 Lotteries Act. This amendment allowed non-profits, the Svenska Spel, and ATG to distribute their gaming forms via the internet. Under this amendment, the Gambling Authority regulates specific requirements for online gambling forms such as electronic lotteries, casino gambling, and betting.

Spellag SFS 2018:1138 – A new SE law adopted by the Swedish Government to be enforced January 1st, 2019. This law will strengthen regulations toward unlicensed operators in the Swedish gaming market. This bill will require operators to gain a Swedish license to continue operating or face being shut out of the SE gambling market via payment blocking and written warnings from the Swedish Gambling Authority and Swedish ISPs.

However, the new law also breaks up Sweden’s monopoly by opening doors for offshore sites to legally offer their services in the market and Swedes by obtaining Swedish gaming licenses. The new SE gaming law will increase consumer protections and tackle rampant issues such as match-fixing while also creating clearer divisions between gambling sectors in Sweden.

Sweden’s Gambling Regulators

All gambling in Sweden is regulated by the Swedish Gambling Authority or locally called Lotteri inspektionen. This Authority organization is responsible for ensuring the legality, compliance, and safety of Swedish gaming within the local market. The Swedish Gambling Authority has strict guidelines to protect consumers, maintain transparency, and reduce harmful effects which may arise from gambling. The Swedish Gambling Authority must also actively reduce illegal gambling operations, provide suggestions to further tighten regulations, and conduct national Swedish lottery operations via empowerment from the Lotteries Act and the Casinos Act.

What Is The Minimum Gambling Age In Sweden?

Sweden has two set minimum ages for gambling. Typical and popular forms of gambling including lotteries, kino better known outside Sweden as keno, bingo, and non-profit table games require patrons to be at least 18 years old. Physical casinos run by Svenska Spel are subjected to a written requirement by the 1999 Casinos Act to only allow casino-style gambling for those 20 and older. Smaller venues such as local bars and ferries hosting gambling must abide by national laws permitting 18 and older patrons to gamble.

Legal Forms of Gambling In Sweden

Sweden permits various forms of legal gambling in the nation from lotteries, scratch cards, bingo, slots (better known as token machines), kino, poker, roulette, blackjack, craps, horse race betting, and sports betting. Varieties of these games can be found on ferries, in bars, and any of Sweden’s four land-based casinos.

Legal Forms of Online Gambling In Sweden

Sweden’s gambling market allows for the access of online entertainment via amendments made in 2002 to the 1994 Lotteries Act. Available forms of online gambling include online slot games, online bingo which caters to women mostly, online poker, kino, and other online casino gambling games.

Advertising In Sweden

Advertising gambling activities, brands, and entertainment are acceptable in Sweden. Most countries restrict the advertisement of gambling online and on their televisions, however, Sweden openly permits such. However, only casinos licensed by the Swedish state are allowed to air advertisements in Sweden and such ads cannot be aimed at or targeting those under the age of 18.

Emphasis On Tighter Regulations

Sweden has placed tighter regulations over online operators via their SE legislation which will be enforced on January 1st, 2019. The new law will strengthen the Gambling Authority and shun platforms in the market actively operating without a Swedish obtained license. The law also enacts a tax on player’s winnings earned from an unlicensed operator to further halt illegal gambling operations.