Swedish Gambling Laws
By Reno Rollins
All major forms of gambling are legal in Sweden. This includes: casinos, poker, sports betting, lottery, horse and greyhound racing, slot machines and even bingo. Gaming in Sweden is under the authority of the state-run Lotteri Inspektionen.
Lotteries and horse racing are regulated by the Lotteries Act of 1994 and the Casino Act of 1999. The first international casinos were allowed in 1999. In 2002, Sweden voted to allow lotteries, casino gaming and bingo to be organized via the Internet.
Video Lottery Terminals first appeared in Swedish restaurants in 1996 and were known as Jack Vegas. Starting in 1999, they were also installed in bingo halls under the name Miss Vegas.
In 2001, it was estimated that Swedish citizens spent 33.5 billion Swedish krona (SEK) on gaming. This means that Swedes spend around three percent of their disposable income on gambling.
In 2007, the European Commission ordered France, Sweden and Greece to end their state-run sports betting monopolies. In Sweden, the opposition to the monopoly was spearheaded by Bwin, an Internet bookmaker.
Casinos in Sweden
There are currently four casinos operating in Sweden. They are:
- Casino Cosmopol (Packhusplatsen 7, Goteborg, Sweden) Open daily from 1pm until 4am, this casino offers 275 gaming machines (including the Big Wheel) and 31 table and poker games (sic bo, punto banco, poker, Caribbean stud poker, blackjack and American roulette). Four restaurants are also located on the property. For more information, call +46 31 333 5500.
- Casino Cosmopol Malmo (Kungsparken, Slottsgatan 33, Malmo, Skane, Sweden) Open daily from 1pm until 4am, this casino has 208 gaming machines and 32 table and poker games (Texas Hold‘em, sic bo, roulette, punto banco, poker, Caribbean stud poker and blackjack). A restaurant and bar are also located on the premises. A 30 krona entrance fee is charged. For more information, call +46 40 664 1800.
- Casino Cosmopol Stockholm (Kungsgatan 65, Stockholm, Stockholms, Sweden) Open daily from 1pm until 5am, this casino offers 37,674 square feet of gaming space. There are 341 gaming machines and 35 table and poker games (Texas Hold‘em, roulette, poker and Caribbean stud poker). There are also four bars and one restaurant. For more information, call +46 8 781 8800.
- Casino Cosmopol Sundsvall (Casinoparken 1, Sundsvall, Vasternorrlands, Sweden) Open daily from 1pm until 3am, this casino has 3,500 square feet of gaming space. There are 135 gaming machines and 12 table games (Wheel of Fortune, Sic Bo, Roulette, Punto Banco, Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker and Blackjack). Two restaurants and a bar are also located on the premises. For more information, call +46 60 141 100.
Horse and Greyhound Racing in Sweden
There are currently eight horse and greyhound racing tracks in operation within Sweden. They are:
- Akers Kanal Greyhound Park (The Marina Road 6, Akersberga, Sweden) For more information, call +46 8 712 6441, or visit their website at www.akerskanal.nu.
- Sundbyholms Travet (Sundbyholms Travbana, Eskilstuna, Sweden) This track features harness racing. For more information, call +46 16 428 200.
- Boras Greyhound Park (Gothenburg, Sweden) For more information, visit their website at www.hundkapp.se.
- Goteborg Racecourse (Jockeyvagen 1, Gothenburg, Sweden) For more information, call +46 31 554 610.
- Blommerod Racecourse (Hoor, Sweden) This track features thoroughbred and Arabian horse racing. For more information, call +46 413 261 25.
- Jagersro Racecourse (Malmo, Sweden) A race book is also available at the course. For more information, call +46 671 820 0.
- Taby Racecourse (Taby Galopp, Taby, Stockholms, Sweden) This facility has three tracks and features a 10 furlong dirt track, a figure-eight hurdle and a steeple chase track). Major race dates are: July 19th, June 1st, October 10th and September 12th. A race book is available on-site. For more information, call +46 8 506 36600.
- Landskrona Greyhound Park (Teckomatorp, Sweden) For more information, call +46 418 125 70.
A number of poker tournaments take place each year in Sweden.
In 2007, for example, the Purple Lounge Swedish Poker Tour took place. The first event kicked off at Club Cardinal in Helsingborg, and the finals were held in Stockholm. Eight towns and eight poker clubs were part of the event.
The Swedish Open Poker Championship is also held annually in the country. In 2007, Johan Storakers won the event and a first place prize of over $185,000.
In November of 2007, it was announced that Sweden’s state-controlled gaming company had obtained permission to arrange Internet poker in conjunction with Boss Media and Svenska Spel. The site will use the Play Scan gaming tool, which predicts and warns a player who is demonstrating addictive gambling behavior.
Sweden also receives a magazine devoted entirely to Internet poker in the form of Online Poker Pro Scandinavia. The largest poker publication in Scandinavia, it is distributed in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.
In January of 2008, the European Commission launched an investigation into the Swedish poker monopoly. This came as a result of the Swedish government offering their state-owned monopoly a poker license, while preventing EU-licensed operators from offering online poker services in the country.
Swedish Gaming Operators
The following is a list of the major gaming operators in Sweden.
- Svenska Spel - Founded in 1997, it is the largest gaming company in Sweden. They offer games of skill such as Italienska, in which the player predicts the outcome of Italian football matches. They also offer games of chance like Lotto and Keno. Scratch cards are also available, as are more traditional lotteries.
- The ESLTA - The European State Lottery and Toto Association is the European association over state lotteries and their operators.
- ATG - The Swedish Horse Racing Totalisator Board. Their most famous product is known as V75, and it is the largest single bet type in Sweden. For more information, visit their website at www.atg.se.
- Folkspel - A joint organization which arranges the BingoLotto game (among others).
- BingoLotto - The country’s largest charity lottery is operated by Novamedia Sweden. It is known as a national institution, and half the population participates on a regular basis.
Online Gambling in Sweden
Svenska Spel, the state-run monopoly, is authorized to run lotteries and number games over the Internet and other mobile devices. It may also run poker online. Foreign providers are not allowed to offer these services over the Internet in Sweden. Internet casino gaming is not allowed.
The following online gambling sites are currently available in Sweden. Only two support the English language.
- Red Kings
United Kingdom Gambling
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