The best Swedish casino sites are well-regulated, safe and home to a wide variety of gaming options. However, the government itself does not issue licenses to international operators, so some caution must be taken when choosing where to play. We recommend that you always stick with gambling websites that are hosted in high-income nations with strong regulatory bodies.
Our goal today is to give you the full rundown on how online gambling works in Sweden, what you need to know about the law and point you to the most trustworthy online casinos for Swedes. Spending a little extra time to pick a high quality gambling website will save you a lot of trouble down the line.
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You will find that the best Swedish casino sites all have a focus on the Scandinavian market. This is important to note because not all operators are situated to properly serve Sweden. For example, the ability to accept krona deposits and pay out winnings to Swedish bank accounts is not a given at all gambling websites.
There is also the question of language. Once again, different operators tend to focus more effort on certain markets. Our top picks all have a distinct Swedish flavor that not only supports the language, but also have a deeper understanding of what Swedish players like to see in their gambling sites.
And last but not least, we only recommend Swedish casino sites that are licensed and legal. The Swedish regulatory authority maintains a register of authorized online casinos here that can be used to verify whether or not any particular site holds a valid gaming license.
Krona Deposits and Payouts
One thing people tend to forget is the key role experience plays in a casino’s ability to provide everything players need. Just one of many examples is the ability to process deposits and payouts in a timely manner.
Payment processing is a complex matter when you consider the international nature of electronic payments today. Experienced operators have developed key relationships with the world’s major players in payment processing and make the process of depositing and withdrawing simple from the player’s point of view.
Players who reside in Sweden have a fairly large number of deposit and payout options to choose from. Credit cards are popular for obvious reasons, but they are far from the only option for gamblers. Sweden-friendly online casinos usually offer a mix of the following deposit methods:
- Credit cards / debit cards
- Siru Mobile
- Nordea instant bank transfer
Gambling Laws in Sweden
Sweden has a funny relationship with online gambling thanks to dated laws and a government-run monopoly that is only halfheartedly protected. Our gambling laws have little impact on the payers, but they do create a complicated legal situation for operators. Even so, Swedish casino sites operate in the open and account for a large portion of our country’s gambling industry.
Two major laws set the stage for all of gambling in Sweden today:
- Lotteries Act of 1994
- Casinos Act of 1999
Together, these two acts give Svenska Spel and ATG monopoly rights to host lotteries and gambling games in Sweden. These laws remain in effect today and make it an offense to promote any form of gambling not regulated by the state. However, neither law makes it an offense for individual players to play online anywhere they wish.
Svenska Spel currently serves as the only Swedish organization authorized to operate brick-and-mortar casinos. Today, Svenska Spel runs four land-based casinos across the country. Meanwhile, ATG serves as the sole provider of horse racing betting.
Amendments to the Lotteries Act in 2002 gave Svenska Spel authorization to offer gambling games online. Svenska Spel remains the only licensed online gambling provider today, but it faces stiff competition from offshore casino sites that accept Swedish players. Some reports state that Svenska Spel controls less than half the total online gambling market in Sweden today.
What has happened in Sweden is typical of countries that attempt to funnel players to specific, government-approved gambling websites. That is, lawmakers are unwilling to target players for criminal action, but it also refuses to open the market to competition from operators located in other EU member nations. The government has also so far been unwilling to censor the internet or take serious steps to prevent financial transactions to/from offshore casino sites.
As we have seen in other countries, this usually results in large numbers of players flocking to offshore Sweden-friendly gambling sites that operate under fewer restrictions, are subject to lower taxes and are therefore able to offer players better promotions and higher payout rates. This puts state-backed monopolies in a difficult situation as it makes it difficult to compete with offshore interests.
As much as our lawmakers would like to maintain total control over online casinos in Sweden, the reality of the situation is that it is impossible to force people to play only at certain websites without resorting to extreme measures such as web censorship, payment blocking and criminal penalties for players.
Furthermore, the EU has been pressuring Sweden for years to open its market to international competition. The current monopoly runs counter to EU free movement of goods agreements, but so far the government has refused to budge.
Change of some sort seems inevitable. Lawmakers on both sides of the issue have made moves to either exercise tighter control over the industry or to open the market to international competition. On the one hand, some in government have stated their intention to open the market to competition. On the other, some have taken up the call for internet censorship.
Despite the uncertain legal situation, Sweden is home to several of the largest casinos sites in operation today. The popular Betsson group, which operates noted gambling sites Betsson.com and Betsafe.com, traces its roots to a slot machines business first established way back in 1963. That group remains active in the business today with its popular online casinos that serve customers from around the world.
Wes Burns co-founded OnlineCasinoSites.com with a mission to help gamblers understand and navigate the regulated online casino market in all countries around the world. Wes is a respected gambling journalist, working in the industry since 2008.