What You Need to Know about Gambling Laws in Scandinavia

  • 2021-08-06

Many nations all across the world have been growing more receptive towards the idea of online gambling as an alternative to traditional casino gambling. All of this is a natural part of the progression of the digital revolution that is continually sweeping the globe. However, despite its increasing popularity, there are still numerous governments around the world that have little to no legislation or regulation when it comes to online gambling. This is making it more difficult for new operators and online casino developers to penetrate new markets in an industry that is getting more competitive every single day. Fortunately, there is a gradual shift even among government institutions in accommodating this evolution in the gambling industry. This is especially true within the Scandinavian regions wherein gambling is becoming more popular.

With nettikasino sites that in Finland offer immersive gaming platforms for gambling enthusiasts sprouting up every day, this is no longer a facet of industry that governments can afford to ignore.

The Finnish Way

Finland takes a very hands-on approach when it comes to regulating their gambling in the offline and online worlds. To be more specific, RAY handles all of the traditional land-based casinos and gambling institutions in the country. Veikkaus Oy is the organization that handles national lotteries and sports betting. Fintoto Oy is the institution that’s responsible for horse racing. However, recently given that online gambling has been gaining much prominence, a fourth organization has been established called PAF. It resides in the Aland Province and it oversees all gambling that takes place online within the region.

Sweden’s Adaptability

A great example would be the country of Sweden. The Swedish government has always tried to keep in pace with the ever-evolving technological industry. Currently, the country allows for online casino operators to function within their jurisdiction as long as they subscribe to the provisions in the Swedish Gambling Act. This is a piece of legislation that first came into effect at the start of 2019. The Act mandates that any company that intends on setting up an online casino that is marketed towards Swedish residents must first secure a license to operate from the government. This doesn’t just cover online casinos per se. The Act also covers any kind of sports betting or lottery platform that exists online. Essentially, any kind of practice where money is staked should be under the regulation of the Swedish Gambling Authority. This is a dedicated body that is in charge of assessing, overseeing, and regulating any company that seeks to offer casino services in Sweden. The country serves as a good benchmark for any nation that is looking to be more open and accepting towards online gambling legislation and regulation.

The Rigidity of Norway

While Sweden took a very progressive and more open approach to regulating online gambling, Norway is taking a different path. The Norwegian government imposes gambling laws that are far more restrictive and challenging for operators to abide by. Currently, there are only two legitimate companies that have a license to operate their facilities within the region. These companies are Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto. The former was established back in 1948 and is essentially run by the Norwegian state itself. The company was set up to channel profits from gambling into its sports and cultural development sectors. Norsk Rikstoto works in a somewhat similar capacity. However, they differ in the kinds of gambling services that they provide to the market in general.

With Norsk Rikstoto, gamblers are only given access to horse racing betting platforms. However, with Norsk Tipping, it’s a much wider scope that covers sports betting and lotteries.

The Gambling Danes

If Sweden has a more progressive approach to handling online gambling and Norway has a stricter approach, then you can find Denmark somewhere in between those two nations. The latest piece of gambling legislation that was passed in Denmark was in 2012, which was the Gambling Act. The Act has undergone a few revisions here and there since then, but it still serves as the primary source of regulatory provisions on any kind of gambling in the country.

For the longest time, the company Danske Spil was the only organization in Denmark to have been given a license to operate within the country as a gambling institution. It was only after the Gambling Act of 2012 wherein more casino operators started sprouting up. Currently, residents of Denmark are free to play on online casino platforms and sports betting websites that have been approved by the Danish regulatory bodies. However, the fact still remains that Danske Spil holds a virtual monopoly when it comes to lotteries, horse racing, and bingo.

It really is interesting to see the different approaches to regulating online gambling within this one region. Only time will tell just how lenient these governments will be as the pressure rises for them to allow for more casino operators to establish themselves within their territories.