Swedish players increasingly choose unlicensed casinos
The latest trend in Swedish gambling has a foreign touch. Today, more and more Swedes prefer to play in casinos that do not have a gambling license issued by Sweden. Customers of Swedish casinos say they find greater freedom and financial independence in the global gambling market. As a result, the popularity of this type of gambling has increased, which in turn has led to the Swedish gambling industry becoming increasingly vulnerable.
Casinos without a Swedish license - New game
Sweden as a country and Swedes as a population have a long history of gambling for money and value. Gambling has been a staple of Swedish habits for centuries. A look back through our history reveals a fascination for the risks and opportunities to win that are associated with gambling, whether it be cards, craps or sports betting.
Thus, over time, our domestic Swedish gambling market has grown tremendously. Not least of all, the state-owned gambling company Svenska Spel has long been a staple of Swedish gambling. Everything from lotteries to sports betting is widely available through Svenska Spel and their retailers in shops and racetracks. But now there seems to be less of that sort of thing.
As the Internet has become a forum that more and more people are turning to for their daily needs, the casino industry has also moved to online platforms. Today, you'll find that most gambling for money, whether it's classic casino games or betting, takes place over the internet. The online gambling market is constantly expanding, with new sites and casinos being added every day.
It is in this environment that Swedish licensed casinos are trying to establish themselves. Initially, the move to the internet went well for our gaming industry. However, in recent years, things have been a bit bumpy due to the Swedish prosecution of gambling for money. The new conditions that have been imposed on gaming sites and companies with a Swedish gambling license have made things much more difficult. Today, these gambling companies lack the competitiveness needed in the global casino arena.
New laws hit Swedish casinos hard
New regulations have been introduced in the Swedish gaming market in 2019. Both the government and the Riksdag saw an alarming development of gambling addiction in the country and therefore decided to introduce more restrictive measures against gambling. Among other things, new rules were put forward regarding how much gambling operations were allowed to offer their customers in the form of bonuses. These player benefits have been slightly reduced.
The Swedish state also introduced new features designed to reduce access to gambling. These included, among other things, time limits, a lower limit on maximum casino deposits and a pause on gaming. Spelpaus is a service that removes casino customers from all gambling at licensed gambling companies in Sweden. Although people volunteer for the service, many see the uncompromising suspension that follows as something negative.
With the cancellation through Spelpaus, there is no room for regret. You will not have access to Swedish casinos during the period for which you choose to suspend. If you regret your decision and want to resume play, there is no option for this. You cannot end your suspension period unless it is twelve months long, i.e. one year.
However, the measures taken by the government in Sweden's domestic gambling market have not led to the desired development of Swedish gambling habits. On the contrary, they discourage Swedes from gambling domestically, instead seeking foreign alternatives when it comes to gambling for money. Thus, staying in casinos has not decreased, but has led to less government transparency and less control over the population's gambling.
More freedom in casinos without a Swedish license
The distinctive reason why many Swedes today turn to foreign casinos is, as I said, strict prosecution in Sweden. Overseas gambling can, among other things, be described as "unlicensed gambling", but this is not entirely true. In fact, gambling sites in the global gambling market have a gambling license, just not issued by Sweden.
The most common type of gaming license found in foreign casinos is issued by a few states in the world, such as Malta and Estonia. These countries have transformed their gaming market to become part of their industry. In this way, they can help the operation of casinos to be something of a refuge from the harsh rules that otherwise apply in other countries.
With a more independent status in their licensing, they can thus focus on developing their gambling sites as they see fit. This, in turn, leads to unlicensed gaming platforms becoming more attractive to customers from stricter gambling environments such as Sweden. It could be said that tighter restrictions in the Swedish gambling market, combined with more accessible and open gambling sites abroad, have created a perfect storm.
Every day, more and more Swedes are abandoning the restrictive and prohibitive gambling environment that Sweden's licensed gambling companies are forced to implement. This benefits the unlicensed casino gaming industry without a Swedish license, which can therefore benefit from the emigration of customers from the Nordic countries.
The popularity of this type of licensed gaming site will only continue in Sweden. They see the development of Swedish gambling habits becoming increasingly international. This could eventually lead to our domestic gaming market shrinking to the point where foreign gaming becomes the new norm, they explain.
More efficient casino gaming without a license
Playing in foreign casinos is not entirely safe. Outside Sweden, customers have no access to the consumer protection system that otherwise monitors Sweden's commercial sphere. If something goes wrong, you can count on the site's administrative staff to help you. This is certainly not optimal, but the lack of consumer protection does not seem to have affected Swedes' enthusiasm for unlicensed gambling.
Furthermore, Swedish is not available in casinos without a Swedish license. Instead, the most common language is English. Thus, a good knowledge of English before visiting a foreign casino has great advantages. It's not just the website itself that's in English. Communication with the support team will also be in a language other than Swedish.
However, these disadvantages of foreign gambling don't seem to be deterring the constant influx of Swedish customers. Good bonuses, more flexible forms of payment and greater availability of games are enough to attract Swedish players.
The way forward for the Swedish gaming industry
For the domestic Swedish gaming industry, there are still several questions that need to be answered. First of all, short-term plans are important, i.e. how they maintain their status among Swedish players. However, due to government restrictions, Swedish casino sites do not have a good basis for expansion. At the moment, it is more about plugging the holes through which customers flow abroad.
Our Swedish gambling market is in dire need of both innovation and looser government control. Whether this will happen, however, remains to be seen. Today, the situation is somewhat out of control. Nevertheless, they still have some of the most important advantages over unlicensed competitors.
Today, only gambling companies with a Swedish license can sell themselves in Sweden, which still keeps them on the surface. Moreover, despite strict restrictions on gambling for money, these are slowly but surely being lifted over time. This is what our domestic gaming industry is waiting for.
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