Inquiry on Swedish gambling monopoly presented

Inquiry on Swedish gambling monopoly presented

In recent years, gambling companies based abroad have taken an increasing share of the market, without having to pay taxes in Sweden.  As a result, the Swedish gambling monopoly does not exist in practice, due to the increase in overseas online gambling companies. A government Inquiry was set up in 2016 to submit proposals for a new regulation of gambling based on a licensing system, in which all operators on the Swedish gambling market are to have the appropriate a licence. On 31 March, the Inquiry Chair, Håkan Hallstedt, submitted the report (SOU 2017:30) to the Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi (S), who said that this has been one of the most difficult inquiries of this mandate period.

The investigation proposed that the state gambling monopoly largely be replaced by a licensing system, and opening the market up for competition from private companies.  All gambling without a licence will be criminalised, with tougher penalties than today for those who breach the rules.  Mr Hallstedt said he thought it likely that foreign companies already operating in Sweden would apply for licences here. The investigation further suggested an 18% tax on gross gaming revenues and that, in principle, all gambling companies pay a licence and supervision fee based on the companies’ turnover and the number of games involved The Inquiry proposes that the name of Lotteriinspektionen be changed to Spelmyndigheten (the English name is already the Swedish Gambling Authority).  All licensing will be assumed by Spelmyndigheten, which is proposed to be given a significantly expanded right to issue regulations,  licenses and permits. The authority would also be responsible for a national platform against the manipulation of sporting events for betting.

 A new crime classification will be introduced, the offence of cheating at gambling (match-fixing and other types of manipulation of the outcome of a game). The offence shall be able to be imposed with a maximum prison sentence, the Inquiry has proposed.

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Jessica Nilsson Williams is the CEO & Founder of Mundus International. She has a long-standing interest in international affairs, having studied and worked in the field for more than 20 years. She began her career as the political advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, and then worked in London and Singapore before returning to Stockholm. In 2011 she took up a senior role at the New Zealand Embassy before founding Mundus International in 2012. In addition to working for foreign missions, she has worked in sectors such as NGOs and non-profit organisations (e.g. the Clinton Foundation and the International Red Cross), and television.