Government Report: Sweden Must Jettison Online Gambling Monopoly
A new report from the Swedish government suggests dismantling Svenska Spel, the government owned gambling and online gambling monopoly. The document also outlines a plan for bringing Sweden-facing gray market operators into the regulated market with a minimum amount of obstacles.
Among the recommendations put forth by the report, which was compiled by Swedish lottery executive and special investigator Hakan Hallstedt, was an open gambling market. This would entail a competitive licensing process and an 18 percent tax on gross gaming revenue, according to a report from Reuters.
While the 18 percent tax rate is a bit on the high side, even for a Scandinavian country, it’s unlikely to prove much of a barrier to operators who have been looking to break into the regulated Swedish market for years. Among those looking to capitalize on any changes to the Swedish market is Bettson, a Swedish-born company that’s unable to operate in its native land.
Operators in the new Sweden would be entering a market that’s hungry for competition, but would still be facing the remnants of Svenska Spel. Hallstedt’s report suggests that the government privatize the operation so as to fully realize its income potential.
The report will be released officially on Friday and is the result of pressure from the European Union. Back in 2015 the EU warned Sweden that Svenska Spel was an impediment to free trade on the continent. (Sweden’s official alcohol monopoly is under the same sort of scrutiny.)
It’s currently believed that unlicensed operators account for about $574 million worth of un-taxed revenue in Sweden every year.