The gambling market in Sweden transformed into regulated competitive place ever since the Swedish Parliament enacted the new Gambling Act on June 7, 2018. The new law, effective from Jan 1, 2019, provides the legal framework for all games based on luck, be it land-based or online.
This new gambling jurisdiction, so to speak, is governed by the Swedish Gambling Authority on the principles of favorable conditions for operations on competitive market terms with strict consumer protection and gambling addiction prevention.
The market is divided into three segments:
Online gambling and betting, lotteries and land-based bingo, and land-based casinos and token machines.
All segments except the last one are open to operators’ competition.
Any suitable company that presents the knowledge, experience, and organization required to run the business in accordance with the laws and regulations shall be awarded the license from SGA provided they oblige to protect players from excessive gambling.
In doing so they will also adhere to forbid gambling and betting to players under the age of 18 and to practice moderate marketing activities realistically reflecting the possibility of a win, all while being taxed 18% on their profit.
According to SGA release, up to December 20, 2018, 36 companies have been granted licenses, notwithstanding lotteries licensed under the Old Lottery Act.
Accompanied by an unofficial English translation of SGA guidelines, we are typing the talk and taking you on the walk through the most important online gambling aspects of Swedish jurisdiction.
Its essence is in strong player protection exercised through high levels of transparency, accountability, and safety in every segment of iGaming ecosystem. Operators are to provide those attributes to players throughout the full spectrum of activities.
In any given time for the duration of the license, an online gambling operator has to be able to provide reportable information to SGA about player ID (KYC standard), duration of login session (start, end, confirmation time), player equipment, all transactions that player made (total number of bets, winnings paid, deposits and withdrawals with player’s balance at the end), the reasons for termination of session and interruption of games, including the software version identification for games played.
The operator is also to provide the player with full access to information about account’s balance, gambling history (transactions in the form of bets, winnings, and losses), and financial data (deposits, payments, and any other transaction).
In terms of games …
…instructions must be complete, unambiguous and non-deceptive. Rules have to be available without placing a bet, on the same medium as the game.
Operators must possess documented quality assurance about the configuration of payout tables. The accrediting body of SGA is to inspect, test, and certificate correction of payout tables.
Operators are to represent a documented reference to a well-established algorithm and any procedure of random number generator (RNG) including calculations and recalculations, standard deviations, probability distributions, and such. Operators are also to provide full documentation about software source code qualityand code testing procedures.
Just by glancing through key features of Swedish jurisdiction, it is easy to realize that there was no end to the length the SGA was willing to go when it comes to creating a transparent business, accountable operations, and safe environment in online gambling.
If you thought this is the end of Swedish jurisdiction emphasis on guarding the players — we’re not even close. To further compound its orientation, the GMA devised a number of responsible gambling measures.
For starters, a bonus may be offered by a license holder only on the first gambling occasion.
New depositing players signing up to licensed casinos will receive one bonus on their first deposit, and that’s it. There are no more 2nd or 3rd bonus nor daily specials or the accumulation of loyalty points for cash bonuses and free spins. Additionally, no tournaments or cashbacks can be promoted.
On the side note, this might turn out to be a good tactic to stimulate casino services variety side of the jurisdiction — to find and join a new casino at regular intervals becomes more interesting to players, thus to provide an outstanding service becomes paramount to operators which in turn gives more options back to players.
Then there is in-game responsibility.
All choices that player can make have to be optional providing one with the possibility to change mind, to have a reasonable time to consider the choice and consequences, and to be informed about factors beyond control (e.g. use of automation or add-ons for auto-features). In addition, information on the probability of winning the game is to be easily accessible.
On the back-end side…
…the gambling system must be able to detect and prevent players from playing against themselves. The system also has to counteract any criminal acts in violations of the terms, such as fraud, cheating, collusion, and such.
Operators may deactivate one or more players in such cases. Speaking of deactivation, the gambling system is to be able to register faulty games and disable them too.
Beside monitoring players’ gambling habits and observing their protection from excessive gambling, operators provide self-exclusion option to players (similar to the UK) on a temporary or permanent basis. During the self-exclusion period, they cannot target the player with marketing messages.
It appears that SGA strives to empower the players with great playing experience while being well taken care of, to fully utilize advances of technology and innovations, to enable the best operators to enjoy consequential market shares, and to create conscious, responsible, and mature iGaming community.
On top of it, Sweden is leading the mainstream charge of cryptocurrency adoption. In fact, Stockholm has been unofficially touted as soon-to-be crypto capital of Europe. With that in mind, one might argue that it’s only a matter of time before iGaming and virtual currency meet with each other in Sweden.
What might appear as an overwhelming regulation might turn out into well-positioned jurisdiction though we are yet to see how the market will absorb it. SGA’s efforts to ensure solid foundations are obvious. So are the resources.
The best possible outcome will result in the high-latitude display of light in European online gambling sky. Other developments might result in protracted implementation and reality checks.
The only one that knows the final outcome is — time.
Read more: casinonewsdaily.com