“Denmark and Sweden already have mature licensing markets”
General Secretary of the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling, Gustaf Hoffstedt, in an interview with us talks about the activities of the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling and the regulations that prevail in the Scandinavian markets.
In your opinion, what impact do the current gambling regulations in Sweden have on the market?
Since 2019, Sweden has had a licensing system for parts of the gambling market, including sports betting and online casino. International gambling companies can apply for and obtain a license for the Swedish gambling market, which they have also chosen to do. All the major gambling companies are here, which means that the consumer has a wide range of gambling offers to choose from.
What role has Svenska Spel played in the Swedish market in recent years? How has it influenced its operation?
Svenska Spel operates partly in the competitive market and offers sports betting and online casino there. On the other hand, they operate in the lottery market where they have a monopoly.
They have tried to find their own role in the new gambling market, and tried different positions. From at an early stage they formed opinion in favor of a ban on online casino advertising, they have recently chosen to do their own advertising specifically for online casino.
How far are we from a breakthrough regarding the Svenska Spel monopoly? How will these changes affect the Swedish market?
That the entire Swedish gambling market, i.e. also lotteries and land based casinos, would be converted into a licensing system seems far-fetched. Then I think it is more realistic that the current centre-right government reviews the ownership of Svenska Spel’s competitive part, Svenska Spel Sport & Casino, and implements a privatization of that part of the company.
What is the role of the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling in shaping the Swedish market?
We represent the private gambling companies, operators as well as suppliers, on the Swedish gambling market. We want to create the safest and at the same time the most attractive gambling license market as possible.
In this way, we create gambling excitement as well as a high level of consumer protection for the players, profitability for our members and tax revenue for the state.
How do you assess the potential of the Scandinavian market as a whole? How might it change in the coming years?
Denmark and Sweden already have mature licensing markets. Norway is guarding its monopoly and seems ready to fight for it, at least in the short run.
Outside Scandinavia, but within the Nordics, Finland is the most interesting country at the moment, where there seems to be a broad political consensus to abandon the Finnish gambling monopoly in favor of a licensing system similar to Denmark and Sweden. So hopefully we will have a non-discriminatory gambling license system in Finland in a few years as well.