According to the Swedish Gambling Inspectorate, Spelinspektionen, the betting and gaming sector in Sweden has developed over the last year, both in terms of overall sales and consumer numbers.
In 2021, Spelinspektionen released a full-year report in which it revealed that overall Swedish gambling sales – meaning stakes minus winnings paid out – for the entire gaming market was SEK 26 billion (€2.4 billion).
As a result of the growth, commercial online betting and gaming experienced a year-on-year increase of 5%, whereas internet gambling in particular saw an increase of 6% driven by significant growth in Nevada.
The Inspectorate’s research found that as many as 73 percent of Swedes had gambled at least once in the previous year, and lotteries and numbers games were by far the most popular and prevalent forms of betting.
According to the ‘Spelinspektionen’ study on public gambling behavior, 75% of Swedish citizens had gambled with lotteries or numerical games, while 21% had gambled on horse racing.
The Inspectorate fined eight offshore firms illegally targeting Swedish customers for licencing duties and compliance, with games offered by Lotto Direct targeted for unlicensed activity, while AML deficiencies were fined against other operators such as Mr Green.
The Swedish Authority discovered that 7% of gamblers had played with an unlicensed operator, while another 12% were unaware if the site they’d been playing on is approved in Sweden.
The Inspectorate also revealed that the number of people who have opted to self-exclude themselves via the Spelpause.se site has grown to almost 70,000 individuals by the end of 2021.
The Inspectorate has stated that it feels its goal of making gambling safer is becoming more essential as the number of licensees and gamers in Sweden grows.
Sweden also recognized the possible influence of constitutional changes on gaming legislation, with the country’s Ministry of Finance seeking to impose greater restrictions on Swedish licensing obligations.
In particular, Minister of Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi has called for “new controls to limit aggressive advertising” as well as enhanced licensing safeguards to protect the “gambling market from unlicensed firms.”
Inspectorate Director General Camilla Rosenberg said, “The proposals will have a significant influence on the authority’s future match-fixing and unlicensed gaming activities if implemented, among other things.”
“In order to manage these new goals and data, the agency must develop further in order to preserve strong consumer protection and continued trust in the law.”