The Swedish gambling market

Some facts

  • A total of 100 gambling operators have active licenses (licenses for non-profit purposes not included) in the Swedish market.
  • In 2020 the Swedish gambling market had a total gross revenue of SEK 24,7 billion.  2019, the total gross revenue was 24,8 billion
  • Gambling accounts for one percent of the Swedes disposable income.
  • 66 percent of all Swedes state that they have gambed in the last 12 months.
  • Approximately 2,500 people are employed by gambling companies domiciled in Sweden and approximately 10,000 by companies with a Swedish license but domiciled abroad.
  • Betting on horses creates a surplus of about two billion kronor.
  • Every year, approximately SEK 1.6 billion is generated for the non-profit sector from lotteries.
  • Just over four percent of the population between the ages of 16-84 have a risky gambling pattern
  • Of those with risky gambling pattern, 2.9 percent (236,000 people) have some risk of gambling problems, 0.7 percent (56,000) have an increased risk and 0.6 percent (45,000) have gambling problems.
  • Since 2017, moderation must be observed when marketing gambling products.
  • Since 2019, the duty of care has been in place, with the aim of protecting the consumer from risky gambling.

Some trends

Trends in the Swedish gambling market (Source: Swedish Gambling Authority)

  • Continued growth
  • Less people gamble – but those who gamble do it more than before
  • Fast technical development, the technology-dependency in the industry is increasing
  • Changed consumer behaviour, mobile platforms are growing

Robert Simmons reporter at EGR Global has written the article Rallying The Troops about governments around Europe getting tougher on gambling advertising.

The Gambling Act

It has been messy on the gambling market for many years. According to law, Sweden use to have a monopoly  gambling market, where there wasis only state-owned companies (Svenska Spel) or state-controlled companies (ATG) who were allowed to provide gambling for money. Public service organisations (Postkodlotteriet, Folkspel, Miljonlotteriet, etc.) are allowed to arrange lotteries and bingo activities.

With the digitalisation, the monopoly has been put out of system and Swedish customers are able to gamble via operators who are based outside of Sweden. Therefore, a new legislation was required that included those who have applied for a license and comply with Swedish regulations, and keep those without a license out.

In May 2018, after several years of investigations, the Riksdag voted in favour of the new Gambling Act which was introduced on January 1, 2019. The new law gives a strong consumer protection and the negative effects of gambling are to be limited.

With the new law, cheating are considered a crime and a special council has sat up concerning match fixing.

The gambling market is divided: a competitive part, which mainly involves online gaming and betting; a part that covers gambling that has a public benefit, which mainly includes lotteries and bingo; and one part reserved for the government, which mainly includes casinos and token machines.

Operators with a license pays 18% in tax on profits made on gambling in Sweden. Gambling for non-profit purposes are tax exempt. If a player wins money on a site owned by a non-licensed operator, the player will have to pay tax on the profit. For more information about the new gabling tax please visit The Swedish Tax Agency’s web.

Match fixing

On January 1, 2019, a new gaming law came into force. A new paragraph against match fixing is introduced, the Gaming Authority is given the role of the cooperating authority against the manipulation of sports events regarding match fixing. A match fixing council has been formed which is coordinated by the Gaming Authority. The Council consists of several authorities but also representatives from the gaming industry and the sports movement. The gaming industry is represented by Sper and Bos.

Read more about the work against match fixing here

The Laundering Act

On August 1, 2017, a new money laundering act came into force in Sweden. This means that the gambling industry is subject to the actions required by law by operators in order to prevent the business from being used for money laundering and terrorist financing.

The purpose of the Money Laundering Act can be divided into two parts, to prevent money laundering and to report if any deviation occurs in the business.

The tools mentioned in the legislation to achieve the purpose of the law are customer knowledge, ongoing monitoring of financial transactions, internal training and requirements for reporting suspicious transactions to Finansinspektionen.

In order to identify the internal risks, operators must carry out annual internal risk analyses that will serve as the basis for where the business will focus its resources according to the principle of a risk-based approach.