Dispelling the Monopoly: EU Raises No Objection to Swedish Regulation Proposal

Published March 30, 2018 by Lee R

Dispelling the Monopoly: EU Raises No Objection to Swedish Regulation Proposal

After approval from the EU, the Swedish government is expected to pass its gaming bill promptly.

After years of monopolies and butting heads with the EU, it appears Sweden is nearing regulation.

Clearing the Path

The end of 2018 is the timetable set for the launch of a free iGaming market in Sweden.  The newly indicated coalescence of the EU for all intents and purpose paves the way and assures no major unforeseen delays will disrupt the original assessment.   

Closing the Window

The EU’s acquiescence comes in the lack of objections offered by the European policy in the three-month window for refusals or reviews allocated to legislative proposals from EU states. The lack of objection as the three month window period ends relieves Sweden of concerns regarding the meeting of EU standards regarding the movement of goods and services.

Ball in Swedish Court

It is now up to the Swedish government to pass down its verdict on the EU-accepted iGaming draft. From there the bill goes to the Swedish Parliament for review and final approval, which Swedish officials said can take place as early as the end of the week. 

Regulation Model Structure

Sweden’s regulation model calls for the division of the gaming market into three segments—online gambling and betting competition; gambling for public interest (covering lotteries or land-based bingo activities); and state-controlled segment governing land-based casinos and slot machines.

Regulation Model Details

The bill includes regulation requirements to track player activity to prevent gambling addiction, with standards for cutting off problem gamblers; bonus offers available only for first-time players; and a mandate for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to display warnings on all unlicensed sites.

Current Environment

As far as the current landscape Sweden does allow legalized gambling, some games available online to players 18 years or older, and four land-based casinos operating in the country and offering admission to players over 20, all named Casino Cosmopol under the ownership of state-run Svenska Spel, and offering standard casino games such as poker, slot machines, and blackjack. Svenska Spel dominates the gaming market through ownership of 50% of Sweden’s total gambling market.


The acceptance of the Swedish model by the policy-setting EU goes a long way towards removing the stigmatization of monopoly in Sweden, paving the way for an equitable model of iGaming in Scandinavia’s largest economy to complete a veritable 180 degree turn in relations between Sweden and the EU in a few short years. 

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