As the country is getting ready for online gambling at the beginning of the New Year, Swedish authorities have started issuing licenses to operators. The first set of these licenses have been provided to 12 companies and is being hailed a” historic step” in the country’s gambling market.
Prominent private operators like bet365, Unibet, and Betsson were amongst the early license receivers. State-controlled ATG and Svenska Spel have also been granted licensed to start operating in the country from January 1, 2019, when the new gambling law of Sweden comes into effect. Other operators receiving the license include Tombola, Casumo, Interwetten, and LeoVegas.
A total of 16 licenses have been provided to 12 operators by the Swedish gambling regulator Lotteriinspektionen. The regulator will now be renamed Spelinspektionen (Gambling Inspectorate) as part of the changed rules. Last week, it issued a statement confirming the receipt of 95 gambling license applications from 70 operators.
The rebranding of the regulator will help in expanding the scope of the laws that would come into effect next month. Camilla Rosenberg, head of the Swedish Gambling Authority called it “a historic day” for the country. She also praised the staff of the authority for processing the large volume of applications working “under severe pressure.”
Companies that did not receive approval in the first wave of applications need not worry. The regulator has suggested that it if they have submitted completed applications within the stipulated time frame, the decision on their status would be made in the upcoming weeks. The complexity of the application will decide the time frame taken to process it.
Rosenberg also noted that the gambling reforms in the country are aimed to encourage operators to work legally, and the initial interest by the operators in the field suggests that they want to operate in regulated markets.
The Betsson Group, which now has 12 permits in total noted in a statement that the license enables competition on level ground and provides Swedish customers more access to the games they want to play under the country’s regulations. It said that the developments would be positive for the customers, operators as well as the shareholders in the long term.
The new gambling laws were passed by the Swedish parliament to re-regulate the markets after the rise of the offshore market led to concerns about a new licensing system in the country. Land-based operators have to pay a $45,900 licensing fee while online-only operators have to pay just under a double of this amount.