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Gambling in Sweden


The market for gambling in Sweden is essentially governed by two laws: the Law on Lotteries 1994 (Lotterilag 1994: 1000) and the Act of 1999 casinos (Kasinolag 1999: 355). This regulation focuses on a fundamental guiding principle: the profits to be used for public interest purposes and not commercial interests.

Operating a gambling activity is subject to authorization and when granting approval, it is based on the principles of the national territory and state surveillance.

The Lotteries Act provides that operating licenses can only be granted to Swedish nonprofit legal entities. The author of an illegal organization of lottery games is liable to a criminal penalty of up to six months imprisonment. The law also prohibits the promotion, on Swedish territory, of lotteries organized abroad, since this promotion is committed for monetary gain.

It also authorizes the government, notwithstanding the system it organizes, to “issue special authorizations in other cases and according to procedures other than those provided for by law” (Article 45). This provision is of decisive importance in practice once the main players of the Swedish gaming market were imposed on that basis. It is indeed the holder of that provision that the government has awarded Svenska Spel very broad prerogatives of the game: this company owned and controlled by the state has a virtual monopoly on lotteries national. (You should hear lottery broadest sense proposed by the law, namely gambling, whether in paris, gaming machines, games offered electronically etc. (see point 1).) The government recently awarded Svenska Spel the right to organize online poker games. It is also on the basis of this article that the government has assigned to ATG, a company controlled by the State and owned by the umbrella organization of horse racing, equestrian monopoly paris.

The Kasinolag also requires a permit for the operation of casinos. The government authorization can only be granted to a fully state-owned company (directly or indirectly).

The government chose to award the casino operating license to Svenska Spel which delegated this activity to a subsidiary, Casino Cosmopol. The law provides that a maximum of six casinos can be operated on Swedish territory. Casino Cosmopol The company manages four to date.

Note that the operating authorizations of ATG and Svenska Spel companies anticipate that they must respect a number of ethical obligations in exercising their activities: they have to ensure the maintenance of social order and act effective way to fight against problem gambling.

Svenska Spel and ATG are subject to the control rules laid down by the law on lotteries.

Casino Cosmopol is subject to those provided for by the law on casinos. Both laws delegate control of lottery activities of national dimension and casino at the National Inspectorate games (Lotteriinspektionen). (On the modes of action of this institution, see the Code of Statutes of the National Inspectorate of 2002:1)

Other participants on the Swedish market have much less economic importance and see their activity governed by the Law on Lotteries: it is cultural, social and sporting institutions which basically organize local dimension of events.

The exceptions to the principle that the profits should be used for public purposes and not commercial interests are extremely rare. Examples include the case of “restaurants-casinos” (representing 3% of the gaming market): it is institutions, enjoying a license to serve alcoholic beverages, are entitled, under the lottery law to request a license for chips and machines for casino games. This ability is governed by law and is only possible for the issues and the extremely limited gains.

The Swedish gaming law is currently under development since a report (“i Spel in föränderlig värld” SOU 2006:11, 2006) of a committee appointed by the government (Dir. 2004:76 .) has recently proposed changes to the law to achieve balance the protective policy of the social and health conducted by the government and parliament with the current economic and technological changes and new developments in Community law.
Finally, in terms of international relations, be mentioned that there is an agreement between Sweden and Finland to enable the operation of gaming machines on ships in regular traffic between Sweden and Finland. (Agreement between Sweden and Finland on gaming machines on ships 1979-02-14 and 2001-03-22 modification.) This agreement aims at the harmonization of rules between the two States. (See the preamble to the agreement.)

Furthermore ATG has cooperation agreements with foreign gaming companies (see the ATG Annual Report 2003, p. 20.) and 2005 Svenska Spel Svenska Spel International created that will develop commercial cooperation with lotteries and gaming operators controlled by other European states. (See Annual Report Svenska Spel 2004, p. 30.)



Any activity during which one or more participants may, with or without notice, get prices for an amount greater than those that can get the other participants.

The participant must be able to influence the outcome by yourself. The term lottery and includes the following:

– The draws lots, guessing games to paris or other similar methods;
– The fair games, fair and amusement parks;
– Bingo, gaming machines, wheels, dice games, card games, games of chain letters and other similar games;

This list is not exhaustive; the target set by the legislation is to take into account the nature of the game in question to determine whether or not it constitutes a lottery


The casino games are roulette, dice and card games and all games resembling those and proposed in a room intended for this purpose (casino).

The gaming machines where access is proposed off casinos

These include mechanical and electronic machines:

– Distributing batches, provided that obtaining a batch depends at least partly of chance;
– Distributing the silver, provided that the gains depend largely random;
– Operate with coins, provided that the gains depend mainly on chance. Tokens are considered those machines that do not provide value certificates, gambling chips or equivalent items;
– Distribute money for which the gain depends on all or part of the ability of the player.


Bingo is a lottery for which it is necessary that the participants are at the scene of the game (and in this way they can actively participate). They have to buy a bingo card and the winners are those who have chosen on their bingo card numbers match those drawn at random. Winners must claim their prizes immediately.

The lotteries via media

These lotteries organized using television media, radio or other electromagnetic waves (especially internet and mobile phones).

– distribuent des lots, à condition que l’obtention du lot dépende au moins pour partie du hasard;
– distribuent de l’argent, à condition que les gains dépendent en majeure partie du hasard;
– fonctionnent avec des jetons, à condition que les gains dépendent principalement du hasard. Sont considérées comme des machines à jetons celles qui ne procurent que des certificats de valeur, des jetons de jeu ou des lots équivalents;
– distribuent de l’argent et pour lesquelles le gain dépend en tout ou partie de l’habilité du joueur.

© European Union

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