As there are numerous betting fans in Sweden, it comes as no surprise that many of them enjoy making sports bets online. This is why for quite a few years, the government had taken things into its own hands. This is why the state was regulating the local online betting market and made sure that punters are always properly protected and can enjoy a safe and fair virtual betting.
At the end of 2018, there were some changes to the Gaming Act according to which, since 1 January 2019, the age restriction for online betting is 18 or older. Meanwhile, to enter a land-based gambling facility, Swedish residents must be at least 20 years of age. While online betting is legal in Sweden, there are certain requirements that an online operator must meet in order to be eligible to provide online betting to Swedish residents.
When they wish to top up their accounts and cash out their winnings, Swedish bettors will be able to utilize a few payment methods. Those are all properly regulated and ensure that while making bets online, Swedish punters and their funds will be protected in the best way possible.
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Legalities of Online Sports Betting in Sweden
Historical Betting Overview
It has always been a goal of the Swedish government to establish a gambling monopoly and regulate the industry in order to prevent any illegal gambling activities. These efforts have led to the establishment of a local land-based bookmaker in 1934 which was known as Tipstjänst. As a way of monopolizing betting, the state bought Tipstjänst in 1943 and in 1977 it was merged with the state lottery, changing the operator’s name to Svenska Spel.
Following the monopolistic pattern, Svenska Spel has become the only operator that was allowed to offer betting, lottery and even gaming machines to the Swedish public. Although there were some changes introduced to the Gambling Law in 2002, they just allowed Svenska Spel to provide even more products to Swedish people.
In 2005, the major company of Ladbrokes made an attempt to put an end to the monopoly and also establish a sportsbook on the territory of Sweden. However, all of that was in vain, as the government refused to issue Ladbrokes such permission. Despite that, there was no law that was preventing local bettors from joining foreign online sportsbooks. This meant that Swedish punters had a choice between betting sites regulated by Svenska Spel and virtual bookies that were based outside the territory of Sweden.
Due to the constant pressure from the EU for Sweden to change its monopoly-based betting laws, in 2018, there were changes in the Gambling Act which came into effect on 1st January 2019. According to the new law, all gaming and betting operators that provide their services and products to Swedish bettors and players must obtain a license in Sweden.
Odds Format in Sweden
Usually, sportsbooks choose to express odds in several different formats. Since many foreign betting websites have obtained Swedish license, they also strive to offer the most convenient betting experience to all of their members, including Swedish bettors. Being able to choose the odds format is also an important factor that will make one’s betting time more enjoyable.
The three most popular formats for expressing odds include decimal, fractional and American. Decimal odds are considered by many to be the easiest ones to use and they are the format that most Swedish punters prefer. An example of decimal odds is 1.78 which will indicate that a winning bet of 1 unit will bring a reward of 0.78 which will result in a total profit of 1.78 units.
While decimal or European odds, as many call them, are preferred by most Swedes, many sportsbooks allow their members to choose between different odds formats and pick the one that suits their preferences the best.
Sweden Betting Laws and Legislation
As the continuous monopoly system which was controlling the betting market in Sweden was frowned upon by the EU as it was considered contradictory to the beliefs for free trade, 2018 brought some changes to the betting law in Sweden.
According to the new law which came into effect at the beginning of 2019, all betting operators which accept punters from Sweden must have a license issued by the jurisdiction of Sweden. This has allowed many foreign betting websites to legally offer their services and products to residents of Sweden and overcome the monopoly which was ruling the betting market in the country for years. Licenses cost between 400 00 and 700 000 SEK and will be valid for 5 years. The operators that have obtained the Swedish license will have to pay an 18% tax on their revenue.
Due to the changes in the law, online gambling is available to individuals who are 18 years of age or older. Meanwhile, land-based casinos and bookies can be entered only by players/punters who are at least 20 years of age. One of the biggest challenges introduced by this new law is the limitations of promotions to only one Welcome offer. This would mean that operators will have to resort to alternative ways to earn the loyalty of Swedish punters as they will not have access to weekly bonuses or other exclusive promotions.
According to the 2019 Gambling Act, betting and gaming operators who accept Swedish players/punters must require their members to set betting limits. This is done so that it ensures safe and responsible gambling for Swedish residents who bet online. In addition to that, the law also requires moderation of marketing, especially to individuals who have requested self-exclusion.
Sweden Betting Restrictions
Due to the changes introduced thanks to the 2019 Gambling Act, the legal age at which Swedish residents are allowed to register and bet in a gaming/betting site is 18 or older. In the meantime, only individuals above the age of 20 will be allowed to enter land-based gaming facilities in Sweden.
One restriction which was not welcomed warmly is the one which limits the promotions that betting and gaming sites can offer. According to the new law, virtual casinos and sportsbooks can offer their Swedish members only one Welcome Bonus. Those who were already registered at foreign betting and casino sites that have obtained Swedish license were considered new players and had the chance to claim the regular Welcome Bonuses the websites were offering. Excluding Welcome Bonuses, online casinos and sportsbooks are not allowed to offer any other types of bonuses to Swedish players/bettors.
Another important aspect of the new law is the one that requires online casinos and sportsbooks to have their members set deposit limits. These include daily, weekly and monthly limits which will help players and bettors avoid losing control over their spending. In addition to that, the law also enforces a limitation of marketing and players/bettors who have requested self-exclusion must not be exposed to any direct marketing.
Online Betting Regulatory Body in Sweden
When the changes to the Gambling Act were introduced in the middle of 2018, foreign betting operators had the chance to apply for the Swedish license starting in August 2018 and be fully licensed by the beginning of 2019. The regulatory body which is responsible for licensing operators that wish to offer online betting to Swedish residents is Spelinspektionen or the Swedish Gambling Authority as many people refer to it.
Currently, there are different licenses that Spelinspektionen can issue to online operators. Those include a license for commercial online gambling, betting license, license for both commercial online gambling and betting, bingo license, license for local horse races and others. The fee of the different types of licenses ranges between 400 000 and 700 000 SEK. The licenses for betting and commercial online gambling cost 400 000 SEK each, while if an operator wishes to obtain a combined license, the fee will be 700 00 SEK.
The Swedish Gambling Act makes sure that the licensee holders conduct fair and safe online gaming and betting. This is very important as it will ensure that Swedish punters and players will always enjoy a secure and fun gaming experience online and can trust operators licensed by Spelinspektionen.
Sweden Online Betting Bonuses
As mentioned earlier, online sportsbooks licensed by the Swedish Gambling Authority are allowed only Welcome Bonuses to their new members. Other than this type of promotion, the Gambling Act of 2019 does not allow betting operators to offer any other type of incentive. This being said, the new members of virtual sportsbooks will have the chance to make use of very generous bonuses when they first join an interactive bookie.
Usually, Welcome Bonuses are deposit match offers that will require punters to make a certain deposit when they create their new account at a sportsbook. The minimum amount bettors are required to deposit might vary, depending on the specific bonus terms and conditions of the betting website. A typical Betting Welcome Bonus might be an offer which requires a first deposit of at least 100 SEK and can award a 100% Match Bonus.
Claiming a Welcome Bonus might require opt-in or sometimes punters must enter a promo code when making their first deposit. The maximum amount that can be received thanks to a Welcome Offer will differ at various betting websites but can be checked on the Promotions page of the specific sportsbook. Often, bettors will not be allowed to claim the Welcome Bonus if they use an e-wallet for their first deposit. Usually, only deposits via credit/debit cards, Trustly or PayPal will qualify new punters for a Welcome Bonus.
Swedish bettors should always carefully check the terms and conditions that apply to Welcome Bonuses. More often than not, this type of sportsbook incentive comes with wagering requirements that must be met prior to withdrawal. Often, the amount of the received bonus must be wagered a certain number of times and there is also a certain minimum of the odds you can wager your bonus on.
Mobile Betting in Sweden
With a big part of the population of Sweden living their lives on the go, it comes as no surprise that most things are available on one’s mobile device. The fact that Swedish people are constantly on the move has also affected online sports betting and the majority of virtual bookies have mobile-based versions or even dedicated mobile apps.
Thanks to their fully-optimized versions, most Swedish-friendly sportsbooks offer mobile bettors a very enjoyable, fun and fair betting experience on the go. Punters will have access to the same popular betting markets and the best odds on the events they follow up closely.
Even if they bet on the go, Swedish bettors will be able to manage their accounts and make fast and secure deposits and withdrawals. Usually, the payment methods which are available on the web-based version of a sportsbook can also be used by mobile punters. In addition to that, many methods have their own apps which will make mobile payments even easier.
New members of mobile sportsbooks will also have the chance to claim the Welcome Bonus of the bookie they have decided to join. As mentioned above, deposits on the go are easy to process which means that there is no issue claiming a Welcome Bonus even if you are betting on the go.
Popular Betting Banking Methods in Sweden
The virtual sportsbooks which cater to Swedish bettors have made sure that they will have an easy time handling their money. This is why you see that many betting sites support the currency of SEK. In addition to that, Sweden-based punters tend to have at least a few convenient payment options at their disposal.
One of the most common solutions one can utilize at interactive sportsbooks is a credit or debit card. You can resort to cards issued by Visa and Mastercards and often use them for both your deposits and withdrawals. While credit and debit cards are easy to utilize, they require bettors to provide card details while initiating payments. This is quite inconvenient and many punters do not feel safe sharing such information with betting sites.
An alternative solution for Swedish punters is using e-wallets by companies such as Skrill, Neteller or PayPal. They will spare bettors the exposing of card details and will ensure safe and fast transactions. However, some virtual sportsbooks exclude deposits via Skrill and Neteller from Welcome Bonus promotions.
As Trustly is a locally-based company that offers fast, secure and easy payments, it is one of the best options for Swedish virtual bettors. It allows them to instantly top up their balances and request withdrawals which are processed in a timely manner. Trustly is extremely secure and it is one of the best solutions for newcomers who wish to claim a Welcome Bonus.
Depending on the betting site, there might be other available payment methods which include prepaid cards by paysafecard, Apple Pay, Zimpler and more. What is worth mentioning about Zimpler is that it is yet another local service that will allow Swedish punters to manage their betting balance with a few taps on the smartphones.
Sweden Betting Sites FAQ
Can Punters Bet Money at Sportsbooks Without a License by the Swedish Gambling Authority?
While there is no specific law for punters, it is definitely illegal for operators without a valid license by the Swedish Gambling Authority to accept bettors from Sweden. This is why many betting sites have excluded SEK from their supported currencies and some websites go as far as blocking access for residents of the country. Bettors from Sweden are advised to avoid unlicensed operators and only trust virtual sportsbooks which hold a valid betting license from the Swedish Gambling Authority.
Will There Be Any Odds Bonuses for Swedish Punters?
According to the newly-accepted law, betting sites that accept punters from Sweden are not allowed to offer any other bonuses, except a Welcome Bonus which is available only to new sportsbook members. Any odds bonuses or other types of incentives will not be offered to regular Swedish bettors who bet online.
Can Bookmakers With a License by the Swedish Gambling Authority Offer Odds on Any Type of Event?
No. According to the Gambling Act of 2019, there are certain events on which virtual sportsbooks licensed by the Swedish Gambling Authority cannot offer odds on. These include events where the majority of participants are under the age of 18 or any type of bets which are considered inappropriate by the large public.
Is Setting Deposit Limits Mandatory?
Yes. In order to abide by the new law, betting websites that accept punters from Sweden must ask them to set deposit limits. These include daily, weekly and monthly limits which help prevent overspending and help bettors gain control over their online betting. In addition to that, sportsbooks must offer their members the self-exclusion option and stop any type of direct marketing towards punters who have activated that option.
Are There Any Taxes on Winnings for Swedish Punters?
No. No matter how big your profit is, as a virtual bettor, you will not be obligated to pay any taxes on your winnings. According to the new gambling law, taxation is an obligation of the online operator that holds a Swedish gambling license. Every betting website that is licensed by the Swedish Gambling Authority must pay a tax of 18% on their profits.