Plugin & Play

Swedish Gambling Law: Protecting Players Or Limiting Choices?

Sweden introduced a brand new gambling license in 2019. It is said that the law was created to protect Swedish players, yet not everyone agrees. William Nord, who has worked in the casino industry for many years and today runs the popular site Nätcasinoutanlicens, is critical of the Swedish system. And he isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

Swedish Gambling Law

"It's as if Sweden can't make up its mind," writes Nord in an article and continues "you want the income from online casinos, but at the same time you want to limit and control the market so tightly that the players suffer."

Nord argues that the Swedish regulations are excessively stringent, ultimately disadvantaging the players. He believes that casinos without a Swedish license are much better and has therefore chosen to write exclusively about non-Swedish casinos on his site. For him, it’s important that Swedish players also get access to all the advantages that online casinos can bring.

Sweden's gambling law

Why is the Swedish gambling law so strict? For many years there was a gambling monopoly in Sweden and all types of games for money were owned by the state. When online casinos first appeared on the market, many countries quickly introduced licenses as a way to regulate this new digital arena. Malta was one of the first countries to do this. Sweden chose to go its own way, as several times before. The state wasn’t willing to let go of the monopoly until 2019, when there was a change.

Today, there are very strict rules regarding what casinos with a Swedish license can and can’t offer their players. Nord thinks it's hypocrisy, because Sweden seems to want to have the cake and eat it at the same time.

“In the end, it’s the players who suffer and I simply do not agree with that,” he says in an interview.

A clear stance!

The myth of unsafe casinos

Nord is highly passionate about casinos and doesn't hesitate to make his opinions known. It's often joked that Swedes are shy and conflict-averse to the point of absurdity. However, Nord doesn't fit this stereotype. He’s outspoken about his views and believes that many share his opinions, even if they aren't as vocal.

He describes how Swedish players miss out on a lot at Swedish casinos. Not only a fun gaming experience, but also money. Swedish casinos must follow very strict rules regarding bonuses and winnings, which means that players don’t get as much play for their money as those who play at casinos without a Swedish license.

“The Swedish Gambling Authority tries to maintain the myth that casinos without a Swedish license are dangerous and immediately cheat players,” claims Nord. “It’s completely absurd and definitely not true. That was one of the reasons why I started Nätcasinoutanlicens.

Information is crucial

There are several other countries that have chosen to introduce a gambling license, but without limiting the casino’s offer so much that it affects the players. Nord isn’t against gaming licenses as such, and thinks there are many advantages.

“The industry appreciates rules and oversight, but it must not become excessive. Take Malta or Great Britain as good examples” he continues, and explains that Nätcasinoutanlicens only recommends safe and secure casinos with some form of gaming license. He emphasizes that he never encourages anyone to visit an unlicensed casino. It’s the balance that is important, according to Nord.

He argues that it’s an injustice to Swedish players to continue asserting that only Swedish casinos are safe. That isn’t true at all, according to him. He believes that Swedes need information on existing casinos, and guidance on how to find the best ones, all while playing safely and responsibly.

The future of Swedish gambling

While the debate continues over whether the Swedish gambling law is beneficial or detrimental, it’s clear that issues of gambling regulation will remain a hot topic in Swedish political and economic discussions. How the government and the Gambling Authority choose to handle the topic going forward will be crucial for both the gambling industry and the players themselves.

William Nord, among others, envisions a future where Sweden may need to reevaluate its current stance to stay competitive in an increasingly globalized and digitized gambling market. For Nord, it’s crucial to keep informing about the alternatives and to ensure that players' rights to freedom of choice and a fair gambling experience remain at the forefront.

Disclaimer: The above is a contributor post, the views expressed are those of the contributor and do not represent the stand and views of Outlook Editorial.