- Report suggests scrapping Swedish government monopoly
- New rules could tax providers at 18%
Online casino players based in Sweden could be hit by new regulations expected to be introduced in 2019 after recommendations made in a government-commissioned report.
The investigation, which was led by Lotteriinspektionen (the Swedish Gambling Authority) Director General Håkan Hallstedt, has suggested that Sweden introduces a freer licensing system, introducing competition into the industry. International operators would be able to apply for licences.
The report has recommended an 18% tax on operators’ gross gaming revenue. This is a middling-to-high rate (the UK taxes 15%, Denmark taxes at 20%).
The Swedish media has suggested that new regulations could come into effect from as early as January 2019.
Despite the higher taxes for operators, the new regulations could be good for online casino players in Sweden, as while many players based in the Country opt for international online casinos some are currently using unregulated and potentially dangerous websites; so, could benefit from the proposals.
According to the Swedish Gaming Authority, some 77% of all gambling activity in Sweden is currently licensed and taxed. Initial forecasts suggest that these new rules could see that figure rocket up to around 90%.
All unlicensed casino operations will be heavily sanctioned under the new laws.
Government-owned monopoly Svenska Spel has been the source of much controversy in Europe’s casino community. The Swedish government had previously defended the monopoly as being necessary for consumer protection – an argument that didn’t fly with the EU for reasons including aggressive advertising from Svenska Spel.
The Lotteriinspektionen Investigation was launched after the European Commission announced that it was taking Sweden to the EU’s top court over the matter.
A well-regulated casino industry is a healthy one, while the Swedish government are raising the tax that will operators will have to cough up, it should be used to ensure that players are able to enjoy online casinos securely.
Playing on unregulated and possibly dangerous sites is an incredibly dangerous thing to do and it is important as many of these sites are stopped from operating as quickly possible; to protect players and their money.
Regulation isn’t always a bad thing, but it shouldn’t comprise on the playing experience for players at safe and secure online casinos.
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