How Gambling is Regulated in Scandinavia
In countries across the world, the gambling industry is treated very differently. There are those nations who welcome the sector, recognising that it can be a major contributor in terms of overall revenue, while others choose to close their doors to the practise.
Against that landscape, many countries fall somewhere in between those two extremes and that’s certainly the case in Scandinavia. The focus is on the three recognised geographical nations, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and it’s fascinating to see how each of them regulates the industry.
The Swedish Approach
Countries around the world should take into account the digital revolution and the potential of residents to visit any gambling sites. Thanks to hundreds of employees, the new online providers have a solid foundation, and many new legislative acts are currently in force.
Thus, the situation in Sweden is such that the norms correspond to the digital transformation industry, and all employees should be aware of the Swedish gambling law, which came into force on January 1, 2019. According to the legislative provisions, all companies wishing to open online casinos or gambling establishments must operate under a Swedish license to provide services to residents.
All forms of multi-player betting, casino games, lotteries and any money-related activities are regulated by the Swedish Gambling Authority. This is the agency that issues these licenses after evaluating the company's documents to determine whether they are suitable for receiving the player's services.
Overall, there is more gambling in Sweden, and some of the most famous workers were also born here. However, some regulations require companies to obtain and purchase licenses here.
Norway’s Strict Outlook
Gambling laws in Norway are far stricter than in Sweden and, essentially, all platforms are run by the state. At present, only two companies are allowed to operate facilities to residents and they are Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto.
Established in 1948, Norsk Tipping is run by the Norwegian state and it was set up with a view to channelling profits into the country’s sports and cultural sectors. Norsk Rikstoto works in a similar fashion but the key differences between the two organisations relate to the types of gambling that is available.
Under the auspices of Norsk Rikstoto, customers can only bet on horse racing – both trotting and without the harnesses. With the Norsk Tipping organisation, the service is much wider and it covers sports betting, lotteries and keno.
Residents of Norway do, therefore, have a relatively wide choice in terms of the games that they play but that choice becomes far more limited with regards to available providers..
Gambling in Denmark
While Sweden is relatively liberal and Norway somewhat draconian in its approach, the country of Denmark falls somewhere in between. The relevant legislation here is the Gambling Act which was passed in 2012 and has been updated on occasions since that point.
For many years, Danske Spil was the only licensed company available to players but that position changed with the act of 2012. Now, residents can play online casino games and undertake sports betting with any company that has been approved by the Danish authorities and carries a license.
However, Danske Spil retains the monopoly on lotteries, horse racing, bingo; keno and other instant games and it is not possible for any other operator to obtain a license for these services
The Present and Future
As we’ve seen, it’s not possible to bracket Scandinavia as a whole when it comes to assessing the region’s attitude to the gambling industry. It is, however, possible to follow patterns and to identity similar approaches across the three main countries.
Technology is one area where Sweden, Norway and Denmark are likely to offer a similar approach. If it is not permitted to sign up and play with a specific operator due to residency, it should not be possible for the individual to access that particular website. Some form of error message will show and the viewer will essentially be blocked from that site.
Moving forward, it’s clear to see that Sweden is the most flexible of the three countries and we might expect them to continue to adapt to a changing gambling landscape. At the other end of the spectrum, Norway has remained defiant amidst calls for change and it’s unlikely that there will be any additions to the two available gambling operators in the foreseeable future.
In Denmark, the potential for change includes the possibility of expanding a list of operators for instant games but that also seems unlikely for now. Within the region, there are three very different approaches to the sector and it will be fascinating to see if there are any developments in the months and years ahead.