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Poker News

Sweden Welcomes Online Poker Operators

Written By: Maya Michaels | July 25, 2018 | Posted In Poker News

Poker has always been a favorite pastime in Sweden although the state has been monopolizing the market for many years. Now a new law has just passed which means Swedish players will soon be able to compete on sites other than the state-owned Svenska Spel and dive into the European poker player pool.

The new law will allow international online poker sites to gain a license from the country and therefore enable them to offer their poker service to the residents.

The state’s monopoly will come to an end after the EU Commission chastised Sweden for its EU gaming law violations in 2013. Sweden was accused for failing to comply with the EU Treaty by not allowing operators outside the country to be licensed. But it was just the first step. It took years to clarify this and Svenska Spel held monopoly all this time. They even asked Apple to remove all gambling apps from its Swedish store. Providing a solid ground for criminal activity, the changes had to be made to the system in place.

Swedish and European authorities have come to the realization that it is too hard to enforce such a strict monopoly on residents of Sweden, considering the fact that the “internet and its multiple workarounds not being able to effectively drive such a law”. Multiple operators have been active in Sweden without holding a license from the country, including platforms from 888Poker, PartyPoker and PokerStars.

“Unregulated gambling has taken over and gambling is used in criminal activities. It is now time for us to move from words to action and regain control of the Swedish gambling market,” Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi said in an issued statement.

International online poker operators will be able to apply for the license starting 1 August and those approved will be subject to an 18% tax. The tax does not refer to Svenska Spel and the company hopes to remain popular with the residents.

“Now we can look forward to a gaming market with equal conditions for gaming companies, increased revenue to the treasury, clear rules to protect customers from excessive gaming,” Svenka Spel CEO Lennart Kall said in a statement.

The newly opened market definitely opens a lot of doors and possibilities for the online poker operators and we can’t wait for 1 January 2019 for the new law to officially come into play.

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