Sweden is a bustling hub for tech companies and game developers, with some of the top-rated casino software providers operating out of Stockholm. But what is the legal landscape when it comes to online gambling? Is it legal for Swedish residents to gamble for real money on the Web? We take a look at Sweden’s online gambling laws and find the best online casino sites accepting Swedish players.
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Is online gambling legal in Sweden?
All facets of gambling in Sweden are governed by the Lotteries Act of 1994 and the Casinos Act of 1999. Gambling, both online and offline, is a legal and regulated industry, with the Casinos Act stating that only licensed gambling operators are able to offer their services to the Swedish market.
Here’s the catch – the state-run gambling company Svenska Spel holds a tight monopoly on all gambling operations in Sweden, and is the only company with a Swedish gambling license. Svenska Spel (which in English means ‘Swedish Games’) operates sports betting, lotto, keno, bingo, poker, scratch cards and more. While Svenska Spel holds a monopoly over land based gambling activities, amendments in 2002 to the Lotteries Act and then to the Casinos Act in 2006 allowed the company to also offer its gambling services online. This means that Swedish players can legally play at an online casino, provided it is licensed by Svenska Spel.
Debates have been ongoing for years about whether Svenska Spel’s gambling monopoly goes against the European Free Trade market, with ongoing calls to open the market to competitors, but as of 2017 Svenska Spel continues to reign supreme when it comes to land based and online gambling in Sweden.
Many players who are seeking more variety are choosing to play at offshore casinos instead – casinos that are licensed outside of Swedish borders. While these offshore sites are technically off-limits to Swedes, there are no laws punishing players for accessing these sites so the laws continue to be ignored. Given the lack of prosecution, many of the best offshore casinos happily cater to the Swedish market. The widespread use of VPNs (virtual private networks) also means Swedish players can easily get around any geo-blocks.
Best casino sites for Swedish players
In Sweden, technically it is only legal for players to play at official online casinos that have received licensing from the state-run gambling company, Svenska Spel. However, like many other countries, the online gambling laws in Sweden are difficult to police and there is very little the authorities can do to stop individuals from playing at offshore casino sites. With the fast expanding popularity of VPNs (virtual private networks) and many players growing tired of Svenska Spel’s gambling monopoly, gambling at offshore casino sites is rampant throughout Sweden.
Given that there are no laws in place to punish players from gambling at an offshore casino, a majority of the world’s best online casinos continue to service the Swedish market. For a full list of the top-rated casino sites catering to Sweden, refer to our casino table at the top of this page. This table has been geo-targeted to recognise the location you are playing from and only recommend casino sites that accept players from your country.
To learn how to identify a safe and certified offshore casino, read our beginners guide to online gambling. Make sure you only ever play at licensed casinos that tick the right boxes when it comes to jurisdiction, software, security and customer service and you should have no trouble when playing at a casino that’s licensed outside of Sweden’s borders. However, it is 100 per cent your own responsibility to be aware of the online gambling laws that apply to you and accept any risks involved – we highly recommend the use of a VPN at all times for an extra layer of security.
How to deposit real money using SEK
The Swedish Krona (SEK) is widely accepted at online casino sites, so Swedish players are often able to deposit and withdraw money using their local currency. If SEK deposits are not available, players will simply be subject to currency conversion fees as funds are changed into a more widely accepted currency like USD, GBP, EUR, AUD or CAD.
The deposit and withdrawal options vary between each venue, and not all payment methods are available to players from all counties, but the most commonly accepted payment options at online casinos include: Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, ecoPayz, EntroPay, Flexepin, Trustly and direct bank transfers. Zimpler is a mobile deposit option available exclusively to players from Sweden and Finland, and we are starting to see this roll out at many of the leading online casinos.
Most deposits are processed instantly, so you can start playing slots, blackjack, roulette, poker, keno, lotto, scratch cards and live dealer games on the Web right away. Some bank deposits can take a few business days to process, however, so always check the FAQ section of your chosen casino site for further details before making a real money deposit.