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Here at Netent Casino, we’ve been writing a lot about European gaming licenses in recent times. There has been a huge push towards regulating the iGaming market from certain countries, with Sweden being one of the main examples. For anyone wondering why the Swedish government are so keen to implement some form of taxable gaming system in the country, recent figures released by gaming authority Lotteriinspektionen should make it all clear.
According to the numbers, there was a 13% year-on-year increase in Q1 revenues for online gambling outside of Sweden’s Svenska Spel domestic domination.
This equated to more than SEK 1.15bn in total, with the unlicensed market sharing 53% of total online gaming revenues.
Svenska Spel itself recorded an 8% surge, but the fact that more than half of the money spent by Swedes during this period was outside of government control is a clear reason why Lotteriinspektionen have advocated for a regulated system to be put in place sooner rather than later.
As Netent Casino reported last month, the government-backed gambling authority published its report which stated that the online casino market should be opened up to foreign websites.
It seems such an obvious decision, with advantages brought to both the state and Sweden’s players due to increased competition.
However, comments on the report are allowed to be submitted until mid-August this year, while there is also the ever-so-slightly important upcoming general election in 2018 which could well derail any progress.
Furthermore, Lotteriinspektionen have had a bit of a shake-up recently, after Håkan Hallstedt’s resignation as Director General in January.
While there is still some uncertainty as to exactly how a Swedish online gaming license would work, the response from plenty of iGaming operators has been positive.
However, most have also commented on how a speedy resolution would be prudent, yet this looks unlikely to happen.
Certain lawyers and firms have suggested that the early-2019 target for regulated online gambling in Sweden is unrealistic, especially due to potential political movements in the coming 12 months occupying more time.
Yet, with so many Swedish gamblers turning towards overseas internet casinos for their entertainment, it feels as though the country’s government are missing a few tricks.