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Majority of New Gambling Accounts in Sweden Registered with International Operators, Report Finds

Off-shore gambling operators have proved particularly popular with Swedish gamblers over the past year

Accounts registered with international online gambling operators represent 60% of all online gambling registrations made over the past 12 months in Sweden, local consultancy firm Mediavision reported earlier today.

The firm also found that nearly 60% of all Swedes aged between 18-74 have an online gambling account, up 12% from last year. Svenska Spel, the state-run operator that holds the monopoly over most of the gambling services provided on the country’s territory, still holds the largest share of all registered accounts. Mediavision reported that combined, all regulated gambling operators account for around 58% of all registered gambling accounts.

However, international operators seem to be gaining momentum as approximately 60% of all new registrations made over the past twelve months were namely with companies targeting Swedish gamblers from outside the country.

Commenting on the latest trends discovered by the consultancy firm, Mediavision’s Mazyar Sajjadi said that a possible explanation why new and existing customers seem to be more and more drawn to international gambling operators is “their marketing with special offers and deposit bonuses.” Licensed Swedish operators are banned from offering any such bonuses to lure customers, under the country’s current laws.

Sweden’s new gambling regulations are just a couple of months away from taking effect. From January 1, 2019 onwards, international operators will be able to operate legally in the country as long as they have obtained a license from the local gambling regulator, Lotteriinspektionen.

The Swedish Gambling Authority launched the application process in July and has recently announced that it has so far received 55 applications from international gambling companies that are interested to operate in the newly regulated local market.

Local News Outlet Slapped with Fine over Gambling Ads

News emerged late last week that the Administrative Court has slapped a SEK100,000 fine on local news outlet Nyheter24 for failing to remove links featured on its website that were referring to international online gambling websites that were not licensed in Sweden.

The case was first brought to media attention back in 2014 when Lotteriinspektionen filed for an injunction against the media outlet. In October 2017, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled in favor of the regulatory body. However, Nyheter24 was found to have not removed the links to the internationally licensed online gambling products.

Swedish media outlets have for years been heavily criticized for featuring gambling-related advertisements. However, they felt encouraged to do so after the European Commission had declared the country’s monopoly system over the provision of gambling services one that violated EU principles for free trade and movement of goods and services among member states.

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