The new regulatory regime for online gambling in Sweden is now a reality. Over the last few weeks, since the beginning of 2019, residents in the Scandinavian country have been able to play legally in any online casino they want, provided that the casino they chose has been approved by the Swedish lawmaker. Also, this online casino is required to operate under a .se domain, the locally recognized domain. More than 60 gaming companies have so far applied for a license that has been issued by the Swedish government, with the first licenses issued already in the last days of 2018. Swedish gaming licenses cater for all games (sports betting, casino , poker and lotteries) with a favourable tax and audit regime. It is basically a good piece of legislation that many markets should have followed.
One of the first operators to acquire a license is the British GVC Group, which is more widely known for the brands that it offers: bwin, Sportingbet and partypoker. It has started its operation in Sweden in the first week of 2019 but chose to operate only two of the group’s brand, not the entire bouquet. GVC owns (apart from those above) brands such as partycasino, Ladbrokes, Casino Club, Gioco digitale, Foxy Bingo and much more. However, Swedish players will be able to place bets, play casinos and poker at bwin, while at partypoker and partycasino, they will be able to access casino and poker tables. It is worth noting, however, that Partypoker was voted the world’s best poker room for 2018, and his entry into the Swedish market suggests that the poker room’s management consider this market to be very important for the prosperity of the brand.
What do Bwin and Partypoker bring to the Swedish market?
They are undoubtedly two of the most reliable and experienced companies in the industry, with a long and a well-established presence in a variety of markets. No legitimate market would be the same without featuring websites such as bwin, one of the world’s best-known casino brands. It is also a matter of prestige for the market itself when a giant such as bwin – which is licensed on all markets that have so far legislated online casinos – opts for a license.
With the launch of its games in Sweden, bwin will offer its casino games (currently over 650) to players based in the Nordic country, with this number rising significantly in the coming months. The company is already working with the most famous casino games providers such as Microgaming, Net Ent, Novomatic and Evolution gaming. At the same time, it is the only company licensed in Sweden that can design casino titles in-house, featuring Partygaming studios unique software.
At the same time, the fact that Swedish players will be able to access and play on partypoker network means they will have access to massive tournaments each week, ranging from free qualifiers for the largest tournaments that take place in based casinos to 1 million dollar online events. After all, party poker was voted the best poker room for 2018, proving the continuous growth and effort the group is putting in excelling in all three games verticals: sports betting, casino and poker. Those who play poker at either Partypoker or Bwin poker have nothing to envy from those playing at pokerstars, which is clearly the largest room in the world.
What can we expect in the future from the regulated Swedish gambling market?
Although the Swedish government has proved slower than expectation in meeting its promise to regulate its online gambling market (a promise that was first given 4-5 years ago), its favorable tax regime and express procedures (it only took a few weeks from the moment the regulation procedure was announced until the first providers went live in Sweden) have made this market extremely attractive to foreign investment. Let’s not forget that the Swedes are among the most “educated” players when it comes to online casino and sports. So, after bwin and partypoker, we expect many big names of the gaming world to submit a request and offer their services in Sweden. Among them are several companies that have a presence in the UK and see Sweden as a nice opportunity for growth and diversification.
For example, bet365, the largest i-gaming company in the world – recently voted also as the biggest company in Sweden for 2018 – has already received approval and offers its services legally in that country.
Sweden is yet another country in the list of EU countries that understands the benefits of legalizing online casinos. The increase in state revenues from taxation and the protection of the players are for the Swedes the main incentives behind pushing for this excellent piece of legislation. We expected nothing less than a good framework and a smooth procedure and they didn’t disappoint us!