Sweden takes 22 licence applications on launch day

2 August 2018

Household names such as Svenska Spel and Betsson were among 22 companies that applied for Sweden’s new gambling licences on the first day of submissions.

More than 1,500 documents were filed with regulator Lotteriinspektionen yesterday (Wednesday) by the operators eager to be ready for go when Sweden’s gambling market is opened up in January 2019.

iGamingBusiness.com understands that up to 70 licence applications are expected to be made ahead of the re-regulation that sees state-owned Svenska Spel’s gaming monopoly end.

Documents seen by iGamingBusiness.com show that many of the applicants are based in Sweden or have links to the country, including Cherry, Betsson and Expekt. Companies noticeable by their absence on day one were Sweden-founded giants Unibet, and its owner Kindred Group, Mr Green and Leo Vegas

Under the terms of the Gambling Act, from January 1, gambling subject to licensing will be taxed at 18%, while there will be “strict requirements for moderation in marketing gambling”.

Betsson chief executive Pontus Lindwall (pictured) said that filing his company’s application fulfilled an ambition held since he began working in the industry in 1992.

“Sweden is our home turf,” he said in a blog. “We’re a Swedish top company within the industry, and we’ve been in this market for a very long time. I think it’s great that it opens up for regulation and for license applications.

“We’ve been operating on this market for a long time and now we will get better possibilities for marketing, sponsorships, and PR that’s good. But in most of our operations I think we will be operating as before but under the new regulation.”

Svenska Spel, Casino Cosmopol, which owns four casinos in Sweden, and horseracing betting monopoly AB Trav and Galopp, also submitted applications on the opening day. ElectraWorks, which operates Bwin, and German-facing Interwetten also applied.

Some of the other operators looking to launch include NoAccountCasino.com owner Mandalorian Technologies Limited, crypto casino operator CashBet, and Gaming Innovation Group-owned subsidiaries MT SecureTrade Limited and Zecure Gaming, both linked to online casino Rizk.

Lotteriinspektionen recently urged applicants to submit their documents as early as possible to be sure of being licensed before January. It said licences will only be awarded to those with “the knowledge, experience and organisation required to operate the business [and] who can be assumed to operate the business in accordance with laws and regulations applicable to the business, and who are otherwise considered to be suitable to operate the business.” 

Svenska Spel recently told iGamingBusiness.com that it has already begun to prepare a series of enhancements to content and technology as it anticipates facing “fierce competition” from January.