Sweden began its love affair with gambling when King Olaf settled a territorial dispute with a game of dice in year 1020. Almost a thousand years later, it houses one of the most thriving and innovative gambling markets in the world. It is no wonder that operators around the world want a piece of the pie.
Effective January 1st, 2019, the Swedish government will introduce the bill “A re-regulated gambling market’. By introducing a new gambling act and license system, the goal is to regain control of the Swedish gambling market and mitigate illegal activity. This will mean that anyone operating in the Swedish gambling market must have an authorized license, and that operators who fail to obtain one will not be permitted to operate within the country.
Jonas Blomqvist, a Swedish lottery expert and CEO of Genera Networks, has been advising gambling operators on just that. Here are his insights:
What do operators need to consider if they want to enter the Swedish Market and how do they manage the process in cooperation with the Swedish authorities or other system suppliers?
First and foremost, the legislation around liability is quite different than what most of the operators coming out of Malta would be accustomed to. When you use someone else’s content, usually they are required to ensure these games follow legal guidelines- mitigating the risk and responsibility of the operator. Under the new Swedish Re-Regulation, the operator would be responsible for ensuring these games are compliant and that Lotteriinspektionen (the gambling regulator in Sweden) is made aware of any changes to code. What is defined as a change and how often you need to contact Lotteriinspektionen… monthly, quarterly, annually, remains to be seen. The fine details are still quite grey at this point. The Conformity Assessment Bodies are certainly hoping that the processes become clearer in the near future.
What other areas are still ‘grey’?
From a front-end perspective, there are still some concerns to be addressed. Responsibility logos that link to Self-tests, Limit of Deposits and Shutdowns need to be visible- that has been determined. Concerns have been brought up around defining ‘visibility’ on mobile devices, and just how large these logos need to be.
What seems clear is that there is an end point that operators need to get to, but some of the steps to get there are still undetermined.
What do you think this means for the Swedish market?
Well it’s a very interesting time for us Swedes. Transitioning from a monopoly to a robust gambling offering will bring a lot of innovation and fierce competition to the market, but it won’t come without it’s challenges.
Also, with the dramatic increase in operators, Lotteriinspektionen will transition from being a dialogue-focused authority to what is essentially law enforcement. Where they once worked to assist operators and be a resource to aide them, they will now only have the bandwidth to enforce the new legislation.
What can we expect in the near future?
Lotteriinspektionen has stated that the 55 operators whom have submitted their applications will be granted a sort of temporary license effective January 1, 2019- while their application is being processed. Should they fail to remain compliant or not provide documentation in its entirety, their license will be revoked come July 1, 2019.
Some great insights from Jonas on what re-regulation means for operators. If you would like to know more, please contact Jonas Blomqvist at firstname.lastname@example.org