Currently, the Swedish gambling industry is in a state of flux. With changes happening all the time, it’s very important to know what’s going on. This is especially important for players because things keep changing regarding what you can and cannot do or claim, particularly in relation to casino bonuses. Part of the problem is that there are many unlicensed casinos in Sweden. However, these are now being clamped down on in order to reduce some of these issues.
But what are the problems? Well, for a start, with so many unlicensed Swedish casinos in existence, properly legally licensed Swedish casinos have a hard time competing with them. There are many reasons for this. One of the big ones is the fact that there are serious differences in what is permitted when it comes to bonuses. In this article, we’ll take a look at the current changes in the Swedish gambling market, what this means for players, and how this will affect things down the line.
Licensing regulations for Swedish casinos
What’s important to know before going any further, is that Sweden has very strict licensing procedures in place. What this means is that Swedish casinos must obtain a license from the Spelinspektionen (the Swedish Gambling Authority). This means that they have to follow specific rules surrounding social responsibility. In particular, all gaming has to be fair and transparent. However, the rules have recently changed once again in the Swedish gambling market. A new gambling act came into force on July 1st, 2023.
This brings in an amendment to the pre-existing regulations. Now, payment service providers must block transactions (including paying out winnings) from any operator that doesn’t have a Swedish license. The aim is to show that a strong effort is being made to clamp down on unlicensed casinos in the country. Unfortunately, despite having strict gambling regulations, this is only effective when the casino holds a license, and there are many that do not. These unlicensed casinos cause a lot of problems for both players and legal operators.
Claiming a bonus under Swedish regulations
One of the biggest issues for all parties is the ability to claim and use a bonus. Under current Swedish regulations, players can only claim a single bonus from any casino. As a result, most licensed casinos ensure that this is for the first deposit as a welcome offer. Unfortunately for Swedish players, no other bonuses can then be offered. This includes bonuses typically found on non-Swedish casinos such as cashback, loyalty programs, and so on. This means there’s a huge emphasis on the welcome offer.
While the lack of multiple bonuses puts pressure on the casino or operator, there is also pressure on the player too. This is because if a player wants to claim a bonus, there’s only one opportunity to do so. Each casino will only provide that bonus one time. If this opportunity is missed, then that player can’t claim a bonus at all, ever again, from that casino. Additionally, it must be claimed during the sign-up process otherwise the bonus is completely forfeited.
Swedish casinos can be under the same license
Even more unfortunate for Swedish players, the issues don’t end there. This is because some license holders (the company or brand that operates the casino as a whole) will actually own more than one casino. What this means is that there can be multiple casinos operating under a single license. The problem here is that this means if a player has claimed a bonus from one of the casinos under this license, they cannot sign up to another casino operating under that same license and claim another bonus. There are sites such as bastacasinobonus.se that can assist a player in the process of finding a casino bonus he or she is eligible for. The best way to see if the casino is under the same license is via the helpful function: sort and filter.
This can cause a lot of problems simply because the average player is not going to be able to easily tell which casinos are actually part of the same license or network. As such, it’s very possible, indeed likely, that players will try to claim a bonus from a casino operating under the same license as a casino that they have already claimed a bonus from. What’s more, players don’t even necessarily know which casinos are legal. And this simply muddies the waters even further.
What’s the issue with unlicensed casinos?
The problem is that unlicensed casinos don’t have to abide by this strict one-bonus-per-player policy. Additionally, they’re quite often known to provide much more lucrative bonuses than those from casinos with a Swedish license. This makes it very hard for licensed Swedish casinos to compete against this. Players gravitate towards those bigger and better bonuses instead. Another issue is that these sites are likely completely unlicensed, and players may find that they lose all their money or can never claim any winnings.
Sweden is constantly changing and updating its rules and regulations when it comes to online gambling. This is all in an effort to protect players from fraudulent activities and to foster a safer, more secure gaming environment. The latest change to gambling regulations clamps down on payouts to unlicensed casinos. It’s hoped that some of those unlicensed casinos will disappear once this comes into effect. This should make it easier and less stressful for players to find legal casinos to play at.