Sweden set for licensing rush ahead of market launch

20 December 2018

As many as 20 further licences could be issued in Sweden before the launch of the re-regulated market on January 1 2019, iGamingBusiness.com understands.

Lotteriinspektionen offices will be open for part of next week as staff continue to process more than 50 pending applications before online gaming and betting begins at the start of next month. As of Thursday morning, major operators such as Cherry AB have still to receive certification.

The regulator is hopeful that applications received before November can be processed in time, with the many submissions in recent weeks to be handled after that. 31 licences have already been issued, with none of the 88 applications rejected as yet.

"We are working hard," a Lotteriinspektionen source said. "There are still many more to come before January. I would certainly say between 10 and 20."

Those that are not granted licences before the launch will not be able to legally operate in Sweden, with Lotteriinspektionen confirming that no temporary permits will be issued.

“Any such opportunity, similar to that in Great Britain or Denmark, is not in Sweden's regulations,” the regulator said. “It is thus not possible under Swedish law. Therefore, we will not announce any temporary certifications.

“However, those who have submitted complete applications in advance of November 2018 may expect to have their application processed before January 1, 2019," it said. "Companies that have submitted applications late or completed late cannot count on making decisions before January 1, 2019.

“We will continue to make decisions about licenses continuously after the turn of the year. You may not operate in Sweden until you have been licensed. There is no grace period in Swedish law.”

Meanwhile, a court has rejected a legal challenge filed earlier this month by the Swedish football’s governing body to restrict the type of betting markets that can be offered from January 1.

Svenska Fotbollförbundet argued that licencees should not be allowed to offer bets on non-match events such as the number of yellow cards and corner kicks or on matches in domestic lower-tier divisions because of the increased risk of match-fixing.

However, the Administrative Court in Linköping threw out the governing body’s challenge, saying it was for the regulator to decide on any licence restrictions.