Has Swedish regulation failed?

Gustaf Hagman strongly believes so. In a recent interview with Gambling Insider, the LeoVegas Chief Executive Officer expressed his concern about the recent developments in the Swedish market and its regulation. He stated that:

“The regulation has failed. I think that’s a quite strong statement but it’s the truth.”

Scandinavia and especially Sweden are LeoVegas’ top market in which it operates, with over 30% of its revenue coming from the Nordic countries.

Swedes have always been avid gamblers and popularity of online casino’s is hardly matched in any other country. Nonetheless that past year has led to increased concerns with online operators who have already been critical with the latest regulations in place since January 2019. Some of the critical voices relate the regulations not being that clear, while dialogue between policy makers and online operators is lacking. The Swedish regulator has recently issues some huge fines to online casino’s in breach of their rules.

On top of this, as a result of Covid19, the Swedish regulator is now demanding strict limits for gambling sites which are in place until June 2021. Swedish players can now spend a maximum of 5000SEK (500EUR) per week while gambling sites are limited to issuing a maximum bonus of 100SEK (10EUR) upon sign-up.

In the interview with Gambling Insider, Gustaf Hagman further noted that:

“The purpose of the regulation was customer care and to bring tax revenue to Sweden. If you look at the first point, with customer care and the protection of vulnerable Swedish players, clearly it’s been the opposite. And the channelisation is down to between 55% and 65%. There’s a huge black market and today it’s so easy for unlicensed or black-market operators to get hold of players in Sweden that want to have a new bonus or play outside the system. All in all, that means less tax for the Swedish authorities so clearly there is a failure in the system. All these attempts to prohibit and add new restrictions clamp down on licensed operators, meaning the market will be even easier for unlicensed operators.”

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