All online casinos in Sweden are currently under tight control by Svenka Spel, the government lottery agency, and Travoch Galopp the Swedish horse racing association, which is also under tight government control. Every casino, sportsbook, poker tournament, horse race and online casino is under tight control of the two government agencies.
The European Union, unhappy with the Swedish monopoly and strict anti-competitive Swedish gambling laws has been criticizing and pressuring Sweden to allow online casino companies, sports and bingo halls licensed within other EU member states to be able to operate within Sweden.
Over the years Sweden has been considering ways to break up the monopoly and allow other European business to tap into Sweden’s lucrative online gambling market without endangering the health of Swedish gamblers. Lawmakers in Sweden are convinced that advertising from foreign online casinos is detrimental to the health of its citizens. Sweden even uses Playscan software to analyze and predict the mental health of its citizens who gamble online based on player profile and behavior.
Sweden supports, yet closely monitors and protects its online sports gambling industry from foreign companies. Sweden has considered many options, including IP blocking software to restrict access to foreign internet casinos, but so far no additional restrictive measures have been implemented. Swedish law also bans unlicensed gamers in Sweden from advertising their online casinos. Some online sportsbooks in Sweden are allowed to be operated by foreign companies, yet Svenka Spel still holds the monopoly on all bets on horse races.
Despite Swedish government efforts, international online poker websites have continued to attract a deluge of Swedish players who in effect are breaking Swedish gambling laws. Sweden is now exploring the possibility of teaming up with Finland’s Raha-Automaattiyhdistys (RAY) internet gambling giant, to provide gaming software and ability to enter the Swedish online gambling market. Sweden believes that such partnerships will prevent the harmful influence of south and west EU member on the mental health of Swedish citizens.