Is Online Gambling Safe in Sweden?
Online gambling has been going from strength to strength, worth around US$60 billion in 2019 and expected to be worth over US$90 billion by 2023.
12:08 23 July 2021
There are many reasons for this, including advances in technology, expanded demographic of gamblers and changing attitudes towards gambling. Changes in legislation in the key regions, such as the EU, the UK, and the USA, to legalise and legislate the industry have also had a substantial impact on the numbers accessing online casinos across the globe.
Land-based gambling scene in Sweden
There are only three land-based casinos in Sweden, where the minimum age to play is 20. Because of this, Sweden has always been a prime market for the online gambling industry, as the accessibility of land based casinos is so severely limited.
All the casinos are run by Svenska Spel, who have a 50% monopoly on the Swedish gambling market, running Bingo, Poker, online casinos, Lottos, Kino, Triss and others. Svenske Spel is run by the Swedish government, and the profits made go straight back into the government treasury.
Online gambling in Sweden
Online gambling has been legal in Sweden since 2002, and only operators licenced by the Swedish state can advertise in Sweden, but many operators licenced in other regions are able to offer their services in Sweden. This means that Swedish players have a huge range of different operators to choose from, and must exercise caution to ensure they do not get caught out by a rogue operator.
Players are encouraged to play in Swedish-licenced casinos; they are better regulated, safer and more secure for players, and offer the whole gamut of different casinos games. Players can access all types of different casino games, including poker, blackjack, slots, bingo, and roulettehjul, and many websites have sections of hints and tips on how to play and how to keep safe when playing online. When playing in Swedish-licenced casinos, players have the added bonus that they don’t pay taxes on any winnings, whereas when playing in externally licenced casinos they do.
All Swedish online operators are licenced by the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA), and there are a number of different laws and regulations in place to regulate the industry. Social gaming, where there is no prize money, and skill games and competitions with no element of chance, are overseen by the tax agency and administrative authorities rather than the SGA. The SGA is currently taking steps to further regulate the industry to keep players safer than ever, including limits on daily deposits and time spent online.
How to stay safe in online casinos in Sweden
Benefits of Swedish-licenced casinos
- Play at licenced casinos
Only operators that can prove their casinos are fair and safe will be granted a licence. Casinos must be able to keep their customer’s data secure and suitably encrypted in line with data protection laws. Casinos must be able to provide security certificates and have their games routinely independently tested to ensure the games are fair and the random number generators they use are unbiased.
- Use reputable software
Players will be assured that the games they play conform to the legal parameters of fair play when playing in Swedish-licenced casinos. Some of the world’s most reputable software providers hail from Sweden, including NetEnt and Play’n Go, although other non-Swedish developers that have proven then comply with Swedish legislation such as Playtech and Microgaming.
- Look for customer support
Many issues that players may face when playing online can be resolved by good communication between players and the operator. All Swedish casinos provide a wide variety of communication channels, such as live chat, email, phones, and an FAQ section.
- Check a casinos reputation
Players should always check out reviews before accessing a casino. There are companies that will help players find the right casino for them, as sometimes reviews are left by players who have lost money and unfairly criticise the casino. These companies will look in-depth as the games on offer, different welcome bonuses, security, transparency and fairness.
- Check web security
Checking the URL at the top of the page is a must before signing up for any online casino. This will help ensure that any information, including personal details and financial information is safe. No-one wants to think that their sensitive information could be compromised.
- Password security
It goes without saying that passwords should never be shared, but many operators are going one step further by embracing two-factor authentication. This means that even if a password is compromised, the account remains secure as a further one-time access code generated needs to be inputted.
- Payment methods
Only trusted payment methods should be used, like Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Apple Pay, or even cryptocurrency. This adds a further level of security and means that players can withdraw payments more easily.