The Online casino industry is a booming business that is growing in all markets around the globe. Although the internet may feel like one place, most nations have diverse laws that deal with all the legal and economic issues that come with this industry, and they can vary greatly. Most battle with gambling addiction, and there are several ways they hope to reduce this problem.
It is difficult for these authorities to outrightly ban gambling activities due to the revenue generated for the business and the laws guiding online gambling in the EU. For a closer look at how the UK could approach it, we take a closer look at Sweden and see how the UK and Sweden’s online casino rules compare.
Swedish Culture and Gambling Habits
Swedes are naturally egalitarian, therefore competition among citizens is minimal. A huge feature of Swedes is their humble nature. If you are the garrulous type, you will not find them friendly. These people are good listeners and calm communicators. They also prefer not to show strong emotions in the public domain, you will rarely find a swede getting angry in stores or malls. A popular term in Sweden is ‘Lagom” meaning everything should be in moderation. They always try to find a balance in all their activities.
Swedes are huge gamblers. In fact, in almost every place you visit, you will notice a betting machine. In almost every store, supermarket, bar, and gas station, you will find a slot machine. Swedish social media is regularly covered in betting ads and adverts, trying to woo customers to join their casino.
According to a study from the Molde Institute, a considerable percentage of swede nationals have a betting problem. Indeed, a percentage of 1.5% aged 17–85 have cultural betting addiction in Sweden. Another 50% of the population tends to be addicted to any betting form.
The federal government is mapping out ways to curb gambling problems among its populace.
The Online Casino Situation in Sweden
The Swedish and UK online casino markets are vastly different. As well as having different policies on internet banking, identity verification and taxation, the Swedish government has chosen to tackle the online casino industry with the best interest of its citizens at heart; this has meant a lot of restrictive measures have been rolled out since 2019. These points are compiled from information taken from the Swedish expert casino site svenskaonlinecasino.info (in Swedish).
Government Restrictions on the Bonus Amount
The authorities have mandated that bonuses and any reward system should be limited to reduce the number of citizens gambling. Also, the terms and conditions attached to these bonuses are complicated. Players in Sweden should not be too expectant with offers and rewards.
No VIP and Extra Benefits
Also, there are no VIP sections or rewards for any player. All citizens are to register and bet with the same status and not expect any special treatments. In other times, VIP sections and rewards are given to customers to entice them, but this is not the case in Sweden. The reason for the total eradication of VIP offers is to discourage elitist gambling.
Instant Registration from Trustly
Trustly is an excellent fintech firm in Sweden that offers online payment options for those doing online transactions. Casino players in Sweden can use their Trustly account to log in instantly into their betting account. This Swedish-based financial firm is heavily backed by the government to gain access to online transactions in the country.
Brexit and Benefits of the EU for Taxes
Unlike the UK which is pushing heavily to exit the EU with Brexit, Sweden remains in the EU zone. The benefits of inter-zone trading will be enjoyed. As Sweden remains a member of the EEA, all online transactions especially winnings from online casinos with licenses obtained from EEA members are completely tax-free.
Players Limitation on Poker Games
Playing online poker at state-run casinos is usually reserved for swedes alone. This mandate given by the government makes players pool small as against overseas-based casinos that most swedes prefer. While it is not clear why such a directive to limit online poker customers is given, it is driving customers towards foreign-based casinos.
The country is witnessing a rise in the number of betting addicts, the government has, however, swung to action by creating several betting addiction Helplines that citizens can use to seek help. Various non-profit agencies are available to help gambling addicts.
Sweden vs UK Online Casino Laws
Gambling laws regulating online casinos in different European countries, differ for cultural, economic, and political reasons. This section will see us compare the Swedish and UK gambling laws.
The sole agency managing all forms of betting in Sweden is the Svenska Spel. This agency also remains the only licensed indigenous online casino operator in this country. However, UK betting rules are managed by the UK gambling commission following the gambling act of 2005, and there are many licensed casinos in the country.
Moreover, there exist strict betting codes for operators (both local and overseas based), but players are disturbed. In the UK, there are flexible laws for all (players and operators) as long as operators are licensed, and players are of age. Profit realized from online casino operations in Sweden is usually put back in the economy and could be seen in healthcare, aviation, and education. However, there is a sign of percentage 10–15% of profit online casinos in the UK are required to put in the society in form of CSR.
Finally, all betting businesses are a monopoly (state-run) in Sweden, although things might change soon due to pressures from the EU. However, nothing of such is in the UK because it runs an open market. This does not stop casinos interested in the online betting business to meet the required standards.