The Swedish gambling market is one that has seen a lot of twists and turns over the years in regard to regulations. Just two years ago, re-regulation commenced in this country and since then, we have seen new regulations come into play. For those operating in this region and those acting as affiliates, it can be difficult to understand what is actually going on.
New sports betting limits
Earlier this year, there were some additional limits rolled out in Sweden in relation to sports betting. This was not something that was received well by operators in this region but they have quickly adapted. The new limits were set out in an effort to curb match fixing and involved prohibiting some kinds of bets.
Operators in Sweden are now unable to offer bets that focus on the achievements of players who are under 18 years of age. They were also unable to offer bets on violations of rules which is a common betting market. This includes bets on yellow cards, penalties and other violations.
While it is easy to understand why this kind of move was made by the Swedish regulatory body, it comes as no surprise that operators were disappointed by the move.
Expectations of short-term restrictions
Across Europe, there have been many new restrictions put in place by governments who are hoping to reduce the risks associated with betting and COVID-19. While many of these governments have stated that these restrictions are temporary, there is cause for concern within the industry as many suggest that this might not be the case.
At a recent Betting on Sports Europe – Digital panel, the discussions focused on Sweden and the restrictions that were added earlier this year. Will these restrictions be temporary? Some panelists did not believe that this is the case.
Victor Schultz, an associate at Wiklund Law said on the matter: “This regulation is to come into effect on January 1, 2021, further, due to the pandemic, online casino operators have been hit with stricter requirements for player protection. While temporary in shape, the SGA is pushing to make some of these prohibitions permanent.”
Current state of the market
According to some of the experts at the panel, the Swedish market is not one that is considered profitable by operators. In fact, some claimed that operators are giving up their licenses or withdrawing their applications in order to move to other regions and make a profit.
Partner at Nordic Gambling, Maria McDonald was very vocal on this point and said: “I think we have a problematic market right now, we have previous monopolies dominating the market, for whatever reason that may be, but we also have a black and grey market which is growing”
For privately licensed operators, the market share is becoming smaller and smaller and the latest SGA rules are not helping with this. For operators within the Swedish gambling market, it is becoming much harder to acquire new customers and proceed with increasing profit.
What is next?
With new regulations set to come into effect in January 2021, the Swedish gambling market is sure to take another hit. The current state of this market is not great but there is potential for things to pick back up again in the future. Many industry experts have seen the effects that regulations have had on this market and others around the world.
With operators pulling licenses in order to maximise profit in other areas, others might soon follow suit.