“It’s evident that a drastic change in direction is required.”

The Swedish Gaming Authority (Spelinspektionen) recently organised an industry seminar about the re-regulation of the market and its results. Per Carlander, Director of Sport Strategy at LeoVegas Group, participated in a panel discussion – don’t miss this exclusive Q&A in which he concludes the key takeaways, and what is needed from the government to prevent unlicensed casino operators from capturing even greater market share!

You recently attended the Swedish Gaming Authority’s industry seminar in Stockholm. What were the key takeaways?
“The regulator needs to take more significant actions to enforce regulations and target the unlicensed operators. Some of the largest online casino operators in Sweden are not licensed within the country, leading to a continuous decline in channelization. If this trend isn’t stopped, channelization will soon drop to levels seen before regulation was introduced, undermining its purpose. Licensed operators such as LeoVegas Group must be provided with fair market conditions to maintain a viable business, which includes ensuring high consumer protection. Currently, unlicensed operators are taking advantage, offering little to no consumer protection. This situation must change.”

You participated in a panel discussion on combating match-fixing. Do you think the industry and the government are doing enough?“We are in a much better position today in Sweden than we were a few years ago. What we need now is to establish an effective operational process to combat match-fixing, involving all relevant stakeholders. With the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) receiving increased funding of SEK 45 million over the next three years to combat unlicensed operators and match-fixing, the timing couldn’t be better. As sportsbook operators, we are eager to take the next step alongside sports federations, the SGA, the police, and prosecutors. Match-fixing is often intertwined with other forms of organized crime, making the role of the police and prosecutors crucial.”

Another topic brought up by the Swedish Gaming Authority was skin betting. Why was this interesting?
“Skin betting is a rapidly growing phenomenon within video gaming and has a very young customer base. It is completely unregulated today, and therefore, consumer protection measures are minimal to nonexistent. It’s positive that the regulator has it on its radar, and this will most likely need to be controlled in some manner in the future.”

Were there any notable discussions or debates that emerged during the seminar that you found particularly interesting or impactful?

“The industry appears much more aligned now than it was a few years ago! Unlicensed operators have become a common enemy, undermining and threatening the entire licensing system. And upon examining Swedish channelization trends for online casinos, it’s evident that a drastic change in direction is required. The conditions for licensed operators need to be predictable and fair, whereas the measures to combat unlicensed operators must become significantly tougher!”

The Minister for Financial Markets, Wykman, has faced criticism from the Swedish igaming industry. He and the government are accused of not doing enough to prevent unlicensed operators from targeting Swedish players. What was the sentiment regarding this issue?
“The conditions for licensed operators have become less favorable since the licensing system was introduced in 2019. Additionally, the gaming tax is set to increase to 22 percent from 1 July 2024. This increase will likely render several licensed operators unprofitable in Sweden, prompting them to exit the market. 

Meanwhile, the government has struggled to prevent unlicensed casino operators from targeting the Swedish market. The government had previously aimed for a channelization rate of 90 percent to minimize the negative effects of gambling, ensure a high level of consumer protection, safeguard government control, and secure taxes. However, Sweden still has a considerable distance to cover to achieve these goals!”


Daniel de Morais Communications Manager