Those in Sweden that enjoy playing online poker and casino games could see dramatic changes in the types of offers that are available to them, and those changes could potentially impact the types of games they play and where they play them.
On January 1, 2019, new regulations will take effect in Sweden, significantly changing the landscape of the online gaming market. While trying to point to concrete changes that will be the most different from the current environment is difficult, it is safe to say that there will be a flood of new operators and sites offering online gaming.
Within the first couple of weeks that the Swedish government began taking applications from online gaming companies for the new regulated markets, more than 30 companies applied to offer real money gaming over the internet.
The Current Online Gaming Landscape in Sweden
Currently only one company is legally allowed to offer online poker and casino games. In connection with the Swedish government, Svenska Spel AB has a monopoly in the market. Without other companies to provide competition, offers for the players in Sweden have been less attractive that those available to players in other countries. This has allowed companies operating outside Sweden to target players in the country and essentially circumvent the regulation put in place that was designed to protect players.
With so many players in Sweden flocking to these foreign companies to play online, the government sanctioned company suffered and as a result, so did the Swedish government as it does not collect tax revenue from these “illegal” operators.
However, the profits that these foreign companies made from players in Sweden must have been a lot because the Swedish government has been inundated with applications for online gaming. Earlier this month, the government reported that it received 55 applications for online gaming licenses. It even had to tell potential licensees that the regulator could not answer questions about the new regulations because it would need to devote the entirety of its resources to processing the glut of applications that have been received.
How Will Changes to the Swedish iGaming Market Affect Players?
With the gaming regulator in Sweden not providing guidance on following the new regulations, it is impossible to tell for sure what players in Sweden should expect.
Increased competition could result in more bonuses and promotions that will benefit players. However, some of the regulations add certain restrictions that could limit what operators are able to offer players as an incentive, so players may want to take advantage of some of the existing offers.
There are plenty of sites that provide current information about bonuses, free play and other promotions, such as Casino.se, which players in Sweden could use to choose where to play
iGaming Companies Preparing for the New Market
The current Swedish online gaming operator plans to remain in the market, and in preparation Svenska Spel has teamed up with NetEnt AB, a leading global online gaming content provider with roots in Sweden.
”NetEnt was an obvious choice when selecting an online casino supplier ahead of our re-regulated market entry on January 1st, 2019,” Fredrik Wastenson, MD and Head of Business Unit, Svenska Spel Sport & Casino said in a press release announcing the new deal. “We are convinced that NetEnt will deliver casino games of the highest quality and become a very important partner for us,” Wastenson continued.