Gambling: Sweden & Gibraltar Cooperate

The change in the gaming industry has been enormous in recent years. Digitalization has opened up completely new avenues for companies, with the result that numerous gambling providers have grown into international global corporations. At the same time, the new freedom of the gambling industry brings with it very special challenges for the regulatory authorities. This is the reason why there are many cooperations – as is currently the case between the Swedish Gaming Authority and the Gibraltar Gaming Division. For the Swedes, this is already the second important cooperation with an EU authority this year.

Letter of Intent signed this week

The year on the Swedish gaming market begins full of events. The opening of the market was only driven forward at the beginning of 2019, so we can speak of an enormously young gambling industry in Sweden. Until January 2019, only the state-owned provider Svenska Spel was licensed to provide its gaming products. The offer was limited thereby particularly to the stationary enterprise of play places, an on-line offer was not really existing. Since the opening of the market, however, this circumstance has changed. Swedish players can choose between numerous private offers and thus choose a provider that fits their needs perfectly. Active are on the market around the 100 enterprises, most of it sent equal several marks on the gambling racing distance.

Less surprisingly the opened market means in addition, completely new tasks for the Swedish gambling authority Spelinspektionen, because those must worry suddenly about a clearly larger market. To accomplish that alone, is not at all simple for the inexperienced authority and thus in the past days a declaration of intent for co-operation was signed together with the Gibraltar Gaming Division , which is to justify a closer co-operation between both authorities .

To pursue common interests

The aim of the cooperation should therefore be above all to protect both regulatory interests more strongly and at the same time improve communication between regulatory authorities. In addition, operational support also plays an important role. Numerous companies on the Swedish market also operate in Gibraltar or even work with server farms in the British enclave. The Director of Spelinspektionen, Camilla Rosenberg, explained in a press release on the cooperation:

“Some companies equipped with Swedish gaming licenses have technical equipment in Gibraltar or a license from Gibraltar. By opening the new communication channel between the regulatory authorities, we can strengthen our control activities. This is the beginning of a long-lasting cooperation. We have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Maltese Gaming Authority this year and would like to expand our cooperation with other European regulatory authorities for gaming.”

/block quota

A major focus should be on technical equipment. Without the cooperation of the authorities, the server farms of the companies in Gibraltar, for example, could not be inspected or monitored by the Swedish authorities. The cooperation, however, will make this possible in the future. While the Swedes benefit from the experience and possibilities of Gibraltar, Andre Lymann, Director of the Gibraltar Authority, sees the advantages for the players and explained that now common values like the fight against crime, the protection of the players and social responsibility could be treated better.

Gibraltar is under pressure

Aside from this, the cooperation with the Swedish authorities for Gibraltar also has a kind of signal effect and can be called a clear statement in the midst of the Brexit debates. In this way, the authorities show that, despite a possible EU withdrawal from Great Britain, they are apparently still willing to cooperate with authorities from other European countries. The truth is, however, that the British enclave has come under enormous pressure because of the Brexit negotiations. If Britain were to leave the EU, this would also have a direct impact on Gibraltar, because the licences issued there would then no longer have any value in the other EU nations. There is a threat of an enormous collapse in the economy, which is dependent above all on income from the gambling industry. The first signs of a bad future are the partial migration of numerous gambling companies who now prefer to park their servers in other countries. If it should come to the Brexit, then one hopes in Gibraltar, can be negotiated for the overseas territory still a special agreement. The basis for this, however, is that there is no so-called “No-Deal-Brexit”.

Second important cooperation for the Spelinspektionen

For the Swedish game inspections, the cooperation with the Gibraltarian authority is the second important step this year. A cooperation with the Maltese Lottery and Gaming Authority was already established at the beginning of 2019 , which in principle comprises similar contents to the current cooperation. Here, too, the Swedes benefit above all from years of experience on the Maltese side, as the Maltese authorities have been able to gain a leading position in the licensing of EU casinos in recent years. Gibraltar is now the second major regulatory body in Europe. Despite the cooperation, the start in Sweden can be described as a bit bumpy. Immediately after the opening of the market, the gambling companies invested horrendous sums in marketing and thus angered some politicians. Die demand meanwhile a general advertising prohibition for the gambling industry , which would mean an enormous setback for the private enterprises.

Benefits could pull again the national offerer Svenska Spel. This claims already a majority of the market and would not have to fear accordingly that the players due to the advertising measures to the competition emigrate. Svenska Spel has also already announced that it intends to forego all advertising expenditure by the end of 2019 in order to increase pressure on private companies. The private competition, on the other hand, did not declare itself willing to do so and announced that this would only promote the business of the state provider and that there could no longer be any talk of fair market conditions. Background: Since 2019, Swedish Spelinspektionen has offered private gaming companies the opportunity to acquire licenses for the Swedish gaming market. The costs for the licenses vary, but can reach up to 75,000 euros. In addition, companies have to pay a gambling tax of 18 percent on their revenues – monthly.