Sweden sets out new gambling regime to come into force in 2019

The Swedish government has released its long-awaited report into the re-regulation of the country's gambling market.
The report was submitted to minister Ardalan Shekarabi this morning and proposes to replace the current state monopoly on gambling with a licensing system open to private operators.
"The purpose of this investigation was for the state to regain control over the gambling market," said Shekarabi.

"In Sweden, Swedish law applies and this should also apply to gaming operators serving Swedish consumers. We are now taking an important first step towards restoring order in the gaming market. We are therefore pleased that we agree with the Moderate party and other political parties on the need to introduce a licensing system for the Swedish gambling market".

Shekarabi added that the government intends to introduce legislation in late 2018 to re-regulate the market, with the new regime to come into force on January 1st, 2019.

The key points from today's report:

• Outdated national monopoly will turn into a partly oligopolistic market and a partly free market by splitting Svenska Spel into a commercial entity (betting & gaming) and a monopoly entity with exclusive rights (lottery & land-based gaming)
• Proposal to sell-off Svenska Spel's commercial arm
• Proposal to rename Lotteriinspektionen to Spelmyndigheten
• ATG loses racing monopoly
• Marketing will be regulated
• No maximum payout percentage proposed
• Establish a system of sanctions both for controlling the activities of licensees and for prosecuting those outside the licensing system
• Impose tax of 18 per cent on the online companies currently unregulated in Sweden
• Ensure that regulatory burden is not so high as to discourage operators from applying for a licence, particularly the major online gambling companies
• Introduce a ban on payment transfers to unlicensed sites by criminalising such payments.
• IP blocking will not be included in the Act, although ISPs may be required to display a warning message when a visitor attempts to play on illegal sites

Licensed operators may offer:

• Other lottery games (excluding draw games and scratchcards
• Online bingo
• Land and online casino
• Land and online sports betting and horse racing
• Land poker tournaments
• Gaming aboard ships
Fees and Fines:

• Licence fees set sliding scale between SEK60,000 and SEK700,000
• Annual supervision fee (renewal fee) between SEK30,000 and SEK1m
• Fines for illegal operators between SEK5,000 and SEK50m
• Match fixing criminalised (initial 2 yr prison term, up to 6 years)
• Individuals running illegal gambling face up to 6yrs in prison

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