Copyright: kunilanskap / 123RF Stock Photo

CONFIRMATION came this week that the licensing process for the new national gambling code in Sweden has been delayed, by a month, until August 1.

Industry consultant Ismail Vali, speaking to SBC News, outlined the appeal of the market and offered deep insight into the prospects for the refreshed Swedish industry.

“Sweden remains one of the world’s most attractive gaming markets, online and brick and mortar – that’s due to its status as a developed market with high disposable adult income,” said Vali. “It has also acted as the ‘lone star’ in the Nordics for many of the publicly traded gaming operators to be in, at least, to maintain the appearance of having Nordic operations.

“Whilst regulation has been talked about for several years now, and the ex-monopoly operator, Svenska Spel, has done much to raise awareness, politically especially, about unfair competition and a lack of social responsibility from the “offshore operators” – both salient points to be fair – not much has, in fact, been done to legitimise and regulate the Swedish market,” said Vali.

“Many operators still labour under the misapprehension that offering betting and gaming to Swedish players HAS BEEN, to date, ‘illegal’.

“Many operators still labour under the misapprehension that offering betting and gaming to Swedish players has been, to date, ‘illegal’. It is not and won’t be until active legislation is passed and enforced.”

“Unlike the US, there has been no discussion of ‘clean hands’ operators – those that did not offer service in Sweden prior to regulation – being the ones to benefit from a future licensing regime. Many operators then went ‘all-in’ on Sweden in this regulatory vacuum, and offered all the products they could, via whatever media channels they could, somewhat regardless of costs, competitive advantage or any USP for being in Sweden.

“All this has combined to create the current free for all, prior to regulation, with a glut of operators across all products. The recently announced regulatory regime, with applications being accepted from August 1, 2018, and enforced regulations from January 1, 2019, now gives the market a clear finish line to cross, as the gates of gaming control are, clearly, about to close shut.”

Read the full interview with Ismail Vali on SBC News