Is the Swedish model Working? New SGA Data Says Yes so Far

Published August 17, 2021 by Lee R

Is the Swedish model Working? New SGA Data Says Yes so Far

While adaptations need to be made, a survey reveals players in Sweden are so far adhering to Sweden's unique and sometimes controversial regulation model.

Some encouraging news is emerging from the Swedish market about safe gambling.

The Study

The results come as an early fruitful result of a joint project between The Swedish Gambling Authority SGA, a.k.a. Spelinspektionen (The Swedish Gambling Authority/SGA) and Stockholm-based online survey specialist SKOP surveying the online gambling habits of Swedes.

The Attraction

A sample group of over 3,000 people aged 18 or older conducted at the end of April and in May 2021 revealed that the vast majority of players in Sweden are attracted to licenced sites due to security, safety, and control.

Low Motivation for Unlicensed

To see this sample group actively responding to security-related priorities is a positive sign for regulated gambling in Sweden. In the case of Sweden, only 7% of players were revealed to play at an unlicensed gaming site per month since iGaming regulation was adapted in Sweden to launch 2019. Of these players, a further 12% were not actually aware they were playing on unlicensed sites.

Dealing with the Pandemic

Survey respondents playing on unlicensed sites also indicated they played more than usual during the pandemic, and they or someone close to them played too much. Thus, the pandemic can also be seen as an added stressor that might increase unlicensed play or unsafe levels of play—as a factor that would skew data slightly, indicating that if the pandemic can be managed in a stable manner then unlicensed play could drop even further. Regulators and the Swedish government can certainly play more of a role in making play more sustainable during the pandemic.

Biggest Draw

Players were drawn most to the unlicensed sites offering poker or online casino games.

Answering Critics

The SGA data is a key answer to claims that Sweden's regulation model has too many restrictions. In practice, besides two sanctions against operators for information sharing errors, for logos not properly displayed on some pages and failing to limit deposits and log-in-time, there have not been significant penalties in Sweden despite the so-called restrictions.


The regulator has indicated that corrections have been made, and the new data would seem to indicate that the Swedish model is doing what it set out to, and achieving early levels of success.

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