Since Sweden got the go-ahead to introduce its newly-regulated casino market, over 60 applicants have filed for the license that will allow them to tap into this virgin market, prodding investors, businesses, and gamers in action.
Sweden Melts the Gambling Ice
Sweden has recently passed a piece of legislation enabling overseas and foreign iGaming and betting companies to enter the market by applying for a license and locate a physical facility within the country.
The move has been a significant success for the pro-gambling lobby in the country, with 60 applications already making it to the respective Swedish authorities. Even though regulation will not kick off until 2019, casino operators, big and small, are already filing up for a chance to bite off a substantial chunk of the country’s active gamers.
It was on Friday, October 10, when Sweden’s Lotteriinspektionen revealed that as many as 60 businesses have applied for a spot. The country’s regulatory body has acknowledged the keen interest in the segment and pointed out that the liberalization of the market has had immediate effects.
Of course, much remains to be seen as to how the market will handle the influx of gambling operators and how many will actually still be here a year later after January 1, 2019, when the legislation comes into force. So far, reported 55 businesses have applied for both an online casino and sports betting license.
The remainder of operators will try to make a splash by running exclusively physical venues and try to attract gamers possibly from the entire Scandinavian region and beyond.
Sorting Through the Mess
Naturally, the Lotteriinspektionen took the opportunity to address some issues that have arisen from the application process so far. According to the country’s regulator, many of the applications have been submitted with irregularities which the interested businesses will now have to address in order to edify.
However, the institution also acknowledged that it lacked the specifics insofar as integrity obligations are concerned. Put in plain language, the Lotteriinspektionen cannot furnish straight answer to what regulatory measures have been overlooked in the application process before these applications have actually been reviewed.
It’s a learning process, the regulator’s representatives have said, and it will take time and effort for businesses and reviewers to strike a balance.
LeoVegas’s Senior Vice President for Mobile Operations Louise Nylén has cautioned that Sweden should avoid being overly restrictive in its way of handling issues such as advertisement for example.
This comes at a time when LeoVegas has been experiencing particular troubles down in Italy, shortly after signing a sports betting deal that the operator will now have to discontinue as a result of stringent anti-gambling advertisement ban which will have casinos have to scale back any advertisement efforts in Italy.
Voted by the far-right populist government, the measure is going to have major implications for gambling in Italy, ranging from land-based venues to their online counterparts.
Even though Sweden is far from restricting gambling shortly after giving it a legal status, the bitter lessons of Italy may be worth considering.