The gambling industry has long been known as highly profitable all around the world. Some of the leading gambling destinations globally include Las Vegas in the United States and Monaco or Nice in Europe. They attract millions of visitors every year and are iconic hubs of entertainment.
However, the past decade has been a game-changer for the industry, as well as for the global economy as a whole. The rapid technological advancements in almost every field pushed businesses to adapt in an immediate manner. Digitalization is evident in every industry, including gambling. Online casinos started appearing on the internet not long ago yet are already highly competitive, sometimes even overshadowing physical venues.
Not surprisingly, many people are attracted by the idea of playing from home. After all, online gambling means that players no longer have to physically get to the casino. Moreover, Online gambling platforms are overall more convenient, smooth, and most importantly fast. One can get online and play slots in a matter of minutes. This is very attractive in a modern world in which time is of the utmost importance for almost everyone.
Considering all the factors, online gambling is gradually becoming a bigger niche within the casino industry than physical venues. This is a great opportunity for the business, as well as for governments to benefit from their presence on the market. Moreover, many of such platforms make the most of their operational incomes from overseas operations. This means that operators based in one country that are available abroad can benefit the national economy importantly.
Sweden: the overall restrictive iGaming regulations
The Swedish gambling industry is rather sophisticated, benefiting from the government’s liberal approach to casinos, as a part of the culture. Yet, just like in many other fields in the Nordics, the Swedish government is keen on introducing often unnecessary regulations. As a result, the Swedish market is quite well-restricted and quite difficult to get into.
Online casino affiliate website BonusFinder.com reported some shocking statistics recently. Their representative has said that Swedish players are trying to avoid this restricted market by looking for iGaming sites on the web through unlicensed sites. This has a major impact on the wellbeing of the industry as licensed operators struggle to maintain sufficient numbers of customers.
The Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen announced that the nation’s market is worth more than $1.3 billion a year. However, they have also added that due to the above-mentioned circumstances, roughly 10% are driven by unlicensed operators. The interesting fact is that other bodies believe that the number is much higher, standing approximately at 30-35%. This means that around one-third of the market exists thanks to the illegal operations.
A similar problem has been constantly occurring in other Nordic nations as the pattern in legislation among the region’s nations is often very indistinguishable. The Norwegian gambling news site Casinopånett.eu reported a number of times that the country’s industry was struggling due to tough regulations, not allowing much competition on the market. Yet, Norway is moving forward much faster than Sweden, aiming to soon soften the legislation.
The problem is familiar elsewhere as well
The problem is very much visible in nations across Europe, including in Germany, one of the biggest countries on the continent. The recent regulations from the government prohibit many of the online gambling platforms’ essential features, such as autoplay while restricting the maximum stake while entering the game to roughly $1.1. With such measures, the German federal government is trying to reduce problem gambling, yet, they are endangering the industry and risking tens of thousands of jobs in the country. It is estimated that Germany’s industry will lose up to 70% of the revenues due to the aforementioned measures.
Unfortunately for businesses in this industry, the case is very similar in other European countries. The United Kingdom, Finland, Belgium, and others are also implementing new restrictions, making it incredibly difficult for gambling platforms to operate. Belgium even banned some types of transactions in video games under the nation’s gambling legislation. Moreover, foreign operators have commonly banned takin the opportunity to play away from people in such nations.
Managing Director for BonusFinder.com, Fintan Costello commented on the issue in the press release. He made a major point about the need to change the approach and try and solve the problem of unlicensed operators rather than restricting those that are absolutely legally present in Sweden and beyond. Moreover, he said that the company deeply regretted the fact that other nations, especially those like Germany are taking the example of Sweden in making gambling legislation practically rigid. Here is a quote from his announcement:
“This should serve as a real warning for German lawmakers who have plenty of time to alter their proposals to benefit and protect players and to ensure their newly regulated framework is commercially successful. Our core principles are built on a common-sense approach to regulation that involves honest and open conversations between regulators, operators, affiliates and players. This is exactly the approach German regulators should be taking.”