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Sweden could end state gambling monopoly

Published fredag 31 mars kl 12.14
Minister: In practice, the monopoly has ceased to apply
(1:50 min)
An online gambling game
Many international gambling companies already operate on the Swedish market, albeit without paying taxes. Credit: Wayne Parry/TT (File photo)

A government commission looking into the Swedish gambling monopoly presented its findings on Friday, proposing opening the market up for competition from private companies.

The inquiry proposed scrapping the Swedish state's monopoly on the gambling market, to be replaced by a new licencing system and a proposed gambling tax at 18 per cent.

Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi received the findings of the inquiry at a press conference on Friday morning.

"This has been one of the most difficult inquiries of this mandate period," he said.

In recent years, gambling companies based abroad have taken an increasing share of the market, without having to pay taxes in Sweden.

"The government's starting point in this work has concerned the state regaining control of the gambling market," Shekarabi said.

The gambling monopoly, which in practice no longer exists due to the increase in overseas online gambling companies, is proposed to give way to a licencing system. All gambling without a licence will be criminalised, with tougher penalties than today for those who breach the rules.

"There will be one law to regulate everything," inquiry head Håkan Hallstedt said.

Hallstedt added he thought it likely that foreign companies already operating in Sweden would apply for licences here.

"I think there are very good possibilities for that," he said.

Sweden's new gambling licence

Six types of gambling will be regulated by the new licencing system:

  • State-run gambling
  • Gambling for charitable purposes
  • Betting
  • Online gambling
  • On-shore commercial gambling
  • Gambling on ships in international traffic

 

The tax on gambling profits is proposed to land at 18 per cent.

By comparison, the UK has a gambling tax of 15 per cent, and Denmark 20 per cent.

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