Sweden calls for fee hike on licences to cover Spelinspektionen’s costs

Finansdepartementet – Sweden’s Ministry of Finance has submitted proposals to increase licence fee renewal duties, alongside a further demand for B2B licence requirements to be adopted as a market obligation.    

A memorandum with proposals has been submitted for consultation until 9 May, and, if adopted to enter into force, a new licensing arrangement would be applicable from 1 March 2023.

At present gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen charges SEK 400,000 (€35,000) for an individual online casino or sportsbook licence. Meanwhile, combined casino and sportsbook licences are charged at SEK 700,000 (€65,000) – with a renewal application of SEK 300,000 (€27,000).

Under a new B2C licensing arrangement, the Ministry has recommended that combined online casino and betting licences be doubled to SEK 600,000 (circa €55,000).

Additionally, the Ministry has proposed that an application fee of SEK 12,000 (€11,000) be applied on ‘suppliers and vendors’ selling B2B software components to licensed Swedish operators.

The decision to apply a B2B licensing arrangement is supported by gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen, which anticipates in the region of 70 applicants to immediately take up licences.  

The increase and expansion in licensing costs have been deemed necessary as Spelinspektionen has significantly expanded its workforce and resources monitoring Swedish online gambling since its regulated relaunch in 2019.

“The current fee for renewing a license for both commercial online gambling and betting do not take into account the Spelinspektionen’s actual costs of such an application,” Spelinspektionen detailed.

“The same handling measures needed in principle are taken in the case of a renewal of a licence as in the case of a new application.” 

It is also suggested that if the licensee is not resident or established in a country within the European Economic Area, it must have a physical representative who is resident in Sweden.

Moreover, a number of other amendments are also proposed “as a result of the new requirement for a license for gaming software”.

This, the government added, proposes that a “requirement be introduced for those who have a permit for gaming software to save data for as long as is necessary for the Spelinspektionen to be able to exercise its supervision. 

“It is further proposed that the Spelinspektionen may charge a fee from a licensee for the supervision exercised by the authority. 

“Finally, it is proposed that Spelinspektionen may issue regulations on what information about the licensee’s activities that the licensee shall provide to Spelinspektionen for its supervisory activities.”

This comes after the Swedish government proposed further regulatory reforms for the country’s online gambling market earlier this year, with an ambition of ensuring strong consumer protection and a long-term sustainable gaming market.

Among other things, the motions for the Swedish online ecosystem intend to put an end to “aggressive gambling advertising on the most dangerous games,” as well as exclude illegal players from the region’s digital marketplace.

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