Online Gaming in Sweden

After opening applications for online gambling licenses in early August 2018, Lotteriinspektionen, Sweden's gaming regulator, received more than 60 applications from online casino and sports betting operators.

Online gaming is permitted in Sweden under the control of the Swedish state and its agencies. Svenska Spel and ATG (AB Trav och Galopp, the Swedish Racing Totalizator Board) until recently held a monopoly over the online gaming market. They are authorized to offer lotteries, casino games, bingo, poker, and sports and horse wagering via the internet and mobile devices. Foreign operators are prohibited from offering their services in the country without a license.

Many foreign operators, despite the prohibition, accept play from Swedish players and have been doing robust business in Sweden for years.

In April 2011, Sweden's Supreme Court ruled that the game of Texas Hold'em could be a game of skill or a game of chance, depending on the format of the game. The court upheld the view that skill is required in tournament poker. The ruling has raised questions about the taxation of poker winnings. When played outside the European Union or European Economic Area, poker winnings are taxed at 30%. With remote gaming available in Alderney and Isle of Man (considered non-EEA), the winnings are tax-free. Winnings from poker, when the game is considered to be a game of skill, fall under "professional" income under Swedish law and can be taxed as personal income up to 50%.

The Swedish government has announced it is working on legislation to regulate and license online gambling and liberalize Sweden's online gaming market. The government hoped to implement liberalization legislation in 2014.

In October 2014, the European Commission sued Sweden over its online gaming monopolies, claiming the monopolies breached EU law on the free movement of services. The Swedish government asserted it intended to speed up work that would eventually lead to licensing outside operators. But in February 2015, Sweden's Minister for Public Administration said Sweden wouldn't open the market to foreign operators until the country has a budget that allowed it to do so.

In 2018, the Swedish parliament officially adopted a bill to introduce an online-gambling licensing regime beginning 1 January 2019. Any company seeking to operate in Sweden’s gambling market now has to have an authorized license, and operators promoting gambling without one will be "criminalized."

In January 2019, Sweden enacted new laws that ended the monopoly the state had on gambling, adding a range of gambling reforms. The Swedish Gambling Authority can determine whether it will approve private operators to get a license to operate in the country.

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