Online gambling

Updated: 2/22/2016

Today there is a wide range of gambling services available to the public online. A gambling website may claim to be “Sweden’s number one casino” or similar and have Swedish as the default language but may very well be run by a foreign company with no valid licence to operate in Sweden.

Many gambling websites, which may offer various kinds of gambling services such as bingo, casino games or roulette, has Swedish as the default language and/or Swedish flags displayed on the website.

This is no guarantee that the website is in fact run by a Swedish company or that the company that operates the website has been approved and licensed by the Swedish Gambling Authority to offer online gambling to Swedish consumers.

Not illegal

It is not illegal for Swedish consumers to play on such a site but bear in mind that if a situation arises where you for example cannot withdraw your winnings, or if you suspect that there is cheating going on, Swedish authorities have no authority to act against the foreign company. Instead, you have to turn to the foreign licensing authority who has issued the gambling licence to the foreign company.

Better consumer protection in the future

In a couple of years private companies will get the opportunity to apply for a licence to offer online gambling to Swedish consumers. As a measure to strengthen the consumer protection for online gamblers, the EU Commission has issued a non-binding recommendation that members of the EU should adhere to when they adopt legislation concerning gambling. 

As such, when the new licensing system in Sweden has been adopted, the consumer protection for online gamblers should improve. In the meantime, ECC Sweden has written a checklist that consumers can use to minimize the risk to run into problems when they are gambling online.