An inside look at the gaming culture in Nordic countries
When the very first Nordic online casinos opened their digital gates over 20 years ago, almost the entire industry was completely unregulated. They didn’t really know how to handle this new way of playing.
A growing market can also easily become difficult to control as governments’ relatively slow legislative process cannot keep up with the industry’s growth.
On April 4th, 2019, Sweden’s government presented its proposal for a new gaming law and a completely new licensing system for Swedish online casinos to follow.
The re-regulation of the Swedish gambling market took place on 1 January 2019 and should act as a catalyst for further economic growth in Sweden.
The problem that must be solved
The companies that have grown large in recent years also all use an extremely aggressive marketing techniques. The marketing has mainly been about attracting new customers by, among other things, offering bonuses of various kinds after an account has been created.
The new re-regulation means, among other things, that gaming companies may no longer advertise that games are free, which will undeniably change the market.
Players get a more realistic picture of what the game is actually like, which leads to further much-needed trust between customers and the casino.
Customers will thus not feel deceived by the marketing, which ultimately contributes to more stable growth for the market as a whole.
The new licensing system also means that criminal activities will be more difficult to conduct in the new climate.
The transformation of the gaming market
The gambling market will be divided into different sectors now that the re-regulation has started to take effect.
There will be a competition sector, which includes gambling and betting, a sector that reserves games that have public purposes, which includes lottery and bingo, and a sector that reserves the state and which only includes state casinos and the games available on cash machines.
Games subject to this new licensing will have to pay a gaming tax of 18 percent. Games that operate intending to contribute to non-profit causes will continue to be tax-free.
Furthermore, the re-regulation means that everyone who is now active in the Swedish gaming market must have a confirmed license. Anyone operating without a license will be shut down.
The focus of the re-regulation is on protecting the consumer, and to this end, they have chosen to introduce a new crime, namely gambling fraud.
In Norway, Sweden’s neighbor, there is a guide on the payment possibilities for Norwegian players.
These rules and guidelines are basically meant to protect all players regarding safety, licenses, and different payment methods in Norway.
The Lottery Inspectorate will also be transformed into the new Gaming Authority. T
his should give authorities better-adapted tools to be able to exclude unlicensed actors from the market, while at the same time license holders should be able to conduct their business following the law, which will lead to a healthier market climate for both customers and companies.
The new re-regulation may seem tough at first glance, but in the end, everyone benefits just as much. Companies get healthier customers who are willing to play more, and all players get better opportunities to claim their rights.
This is a huge win for the market and the Swedish economy, as well as all the gambling addicts who have a hard time letting go when all the advertising about bonuses and free games flashes around them.
Of course, Sweden and Norway are not the only representatives of the Nordic region but represent the two main regulation models in Scandinavia, gaming culture in Sweden and Norway can be considered as representing gaming culture in the Nordic region.