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A Look at the Gambling Industry in Sweden: The Numbers Behind the Boom


business intelligence

Sweden is among the top European nations where the gambling industry is thriving.

The figures driving this rise are astounding, with the country’s overall gaming turnover increasing by more than 300% since 2016. This remarkable expansion can be ascribed to various variables, such as introducing new technologies and laws and increasing online gaming possibilities. 

In 2022 alone, the number of gamblers in Sweden surged to 72% compared to 58% in 2018. More than 100 gambling operators have an active license in the market. However, if you do not wish to share your gambling data with the Swedish authorities but you still want to play in a reputable and safe platform, you can explore CUSL, which features online gambling platforms that accept Swedish players and hold licenses from other organizations, Malta or Curaçao.

In this article, we discuss the Swedish gambling industry from a statistical perspective and understand the reason behind its massive growth.

A statistical overview of Sweden’s gambling industry

Sweden’s gambling industry is one of the most lucrative in Europe. According to a recent report, the country’s total gambling revenue was estimated at around SEK 27 billion in 2022. 

The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA), or the Spellagen, has been responsible for regulating all forms of gambling within the country’s borders since January 2019. The organization has taken strong measures to ensure the safety of the players, including protection from gambling addiction. 

Spellagen monitors three categories of gambling: online gambling and betting, the state monopoly that includes live casinos and cash machines, and lottery and bingo. Regarding market share, online casinos held the most considerable portion, followed by sports betting (including betting on horses) and lotteries. 

When it comes to taxation, all forms of gambling are subject to an 18% tax rate on gross gaming revenues. Due to this, the State’s gambling revenue totalled SEK 7.4 billion in 2021, which included gambling tax, corporation tax and dividends from Svenska Spel AB.

The economic impact of state-run casinos on Swedish communities

The economic impact of state-run casinos on Swedish communities has received considerable attention. According to reports, the existence of a land-based casino in a community can promote tourism, as well as create employment opportunities and revenue generated by taxes for the local government. 

Around 2,500 people serve as employees in wagering businesses headquartered in Sweden. Another 10,000 work for gambling companies holding a Swedish license but located elsewhere.

Furthermore, research has indicated that the existence of a casino can increase expenditure on entertainment and leisure activities, which can assist in promoting the local economy. Moreover, you can understand how significant gambling is in Swedish culture by the fact that it accounts for 1% of the Swedes’ disposable income.

Let’s take a look at how much revenue different gambling sectors generates:

  • Horse betting is a popular form of gambling for the Swedes, which has produced an annual surplus of SEK 2 billion. 
  • Lottery, which the State mostly manages, generates approximately SEK 1.6 billion every year for the non-profit sector. 

However, there are also some potentially negative impacts associated with state-run casinos. These include gambling addiction and social problems such as family breakdowns due to financial pressures caused by gambling losses. 

It is vital for governments to carefully consider these potential risks and take measures against them to safeguard their citizens, something which the Swedish State has managed to execute quite effectively. 

Measures taken by Sweden to safeguard its citizen from gambling addictions

As mentioned above, Sweden has taken several measures to protect its citizens from gambling addiction. The Swedish government has implemented a series of restrictions on the advertising and promotion of gambling.

Additionally, online casinos must display warnings about the risks associated with gambling and information about responsible gaming practices. Furthermore, all online casinos must have an age verification system to ensure that only players over 18 years old can access their services. 

These measures have demonstrated a positive effect as only 4% of the population, which ranged from 18 to 84, have indicated a risky gambling pattern. Of these, 3% showcase a risk of gambling addiction, and 0.5% suffer from gambling addiction. It is also notable that men are significantly more prone to gambling addiction than women. 

Finally, Sweden has also introduced a self-exclusion system using technology that allows players to voluntarily exclude themselves from playing at any licensed casino in the country. This measure is designed to help those who feel they may be developing an unhealthy relationship with gambling by preventing them from accessing any form of an online or land-based casino in Sweden for a certain period, ranging from 1 month to a year or beyond. 

Final thoughts

Overall, it is clear that the gambling industry in Sweden has seen a significant surge in recent years. The future looks bright for the Swedish gambling industry, given its current trajectory and solid regulatory framework – something that other countries should strive to emulate to ensure fair play and consumer protection across all gaming activities.