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Betting in Sweden

Published on: 08/08/2016

The very first signs of gambling activity in Sweden appeared as long ago as 1020. Around that time, Sweden’s King played a game of dice with the king of Norway as a decider over a piece of land. It is said that the King of Sweden prevailed with a winning pair of sixes. From this point on, gambling has been enjoyed by the Swedes.

Sweden has numerous gambling opportunities on offer, such as lotteries, bingo, poker, table games, slot machines and sports wagering. Throughout the nation there are 31 licensed betting establishments, 25 horseracing tracks and two dog racing tracks, all of which are fully legal. The cities of Stockholm, Sundsvall, Malmo and Gothenburg each have casinos.

The country’s gambling regulations have undergone various changes over the years. Today, Sweden’s gambling industry is basically run as a state monopoly, and all types of gambling are controlled by the government department known as Lotteri Inspektionen. There are two Swedish companies which have been granted the exclusive rights to the nation’s sports wagering. AB Trav och Galopp (ATG) organises the Horse Racing Totalisator and the other company, called Svenska Spel, manages the rest of the sporting services. AB Trav och Galopp, started in 1997, and is Sweden’s biggest gambling company. It supervises the nation’s fixed-odds sports betting, casinos, scratchcards, lotteries, keno games and internet betting.

A few privately-owned betting businesses are allowed to have a presence within the country’s gambling industry, including Unibet, who have achieved worldwide success.

Unibet Group Plc are based in London and have a license to provide internet wagering registered in Malta. The company is also listed on the Nordic Stock Exchange in Stockholm. Initially. Unibet’s interests were aimed towards the Scandinavian gambling industry. However, over time, the business has expanded, providing more than a dozen online betting web sites and creating hundreds of jobs. Today Unibet Sports & Racebooks have over 5 million customers worldwide. In 2006, Svenska Spel were granted the sole rights to online poker services in Sweden. This led to Unibet and Bwin Entertainment asking the European Commission to carry out investigations. As a result, the EC instructed Greece, France and Sweden to stop running their gambling operations as monopolies.

Encouraged by these events, Betsson Malta Ltd made the decision to provide Sweden’s monopoly with some competition. Betsson established a gambling venue in Stockholm in 2008.

The Lotteri Inspektionen opposed Betssons actions, stating that the venture was breaking the rules according to article 38 of the Swedish Lottery Act. Complaints were made, leading to requests for off-shore promoting in Sweden to be banned. The European Union Court of Justice carried out investigations into Sweden’s gambling monopoly in 2010. The outcome of the ruling swung in Sweden’s favour, as the ECJ deemed the rights to prohibit internet betting to be in line with Swedish laws - however, the right to enforce any punishments were denied. . Currently, over 450 foreign internet Sportsbooks welcome interest from the Swedish citizens. Many betting sites provide information using the Swedish language including Bet365, Ladbrokes and Unibet.

Sweden’s monetary denomination is the Krona, however he majority of gambling web sites use the Euro. Customers with Swedish addresses can use Visa Credit cards or Master Cards as well as many eWallets such as Moneybookers and NETeller to broker transactions. .