Sweden Proposes Gambling Software Licence, Fee Hike

March 8, 2022
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Sweden’s Ministry of Finance is proposing to increase online licence renewal fees and has confirmed plans to require suppliers to apply for their own licences.

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Sweden’s Ministry of Finance is proposing to increase online licence renewal fees and has confirmed plans to require suppliers to apply for their own licences.

Under the new plans, renewal fees for a combined online betting and casino licence would rise from SEK300,000 (€27,000) to SEK600,000 (€55,000).

The Ministry of Finance also outlined the proposed requirements for a gambling software licence, including its cost of SEK120,000 (€11,000), in a memorandum it submitted to the Government on March 7.

Details of the proposals follow the Legal Affairs Council's advice on January 27 that recommended licensing gambling software firms, as well as banning the promotion of illegal gambling and tightening marketing restrictions to protect children and the vulnerable.

A starting point for fees charged by the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) should be that they at the very least cover the costs incurred by the regulator, according to the memorandum.

The Ministry of Finance explained the licence cost to offer both online gambling and betting is currently SEK700,000, compared with SEK400,000 to provide just one type of product, yet the renewal fee is SEK300,000 for either licence.

There are currently 66 companies licensed for commercial online gaming and betting, of which 39 are licensed for both online gaming and betting.

If all 39 renewed their licences under the proposed increase, it would total SEK23.4m, or an estimated 0.03 percent of total turnover predicted for the five year period the licences last, and is “not expected to affect companies to any great extent at an overall level”, according to the proposal.

All software licence holders will be required to save data as long as the SGA determines it is necessary and the regulator can also determine what information about licensee’s activities must be provided to it.

The proposed changes will take effect on March 1, 2023. A consultation on the proposals will run until May 9, 2022.

The SGA told VIXIO GamblingCompliance it is too early to comment on the proposal, but it will partake in the consultation.

It also confirmed that if approved, the SGA could introduce a “supervision fee” for licence holders, although it did not go into any more detail.

Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary general of BOS trade group, said the increase of permit renewal is “not much to talk about”, but believes there is an “elephant in the room” when it comes to the Swedish licensing system.

Namely that penalty fees for infringement cases are based on a company's turnover, not gross gambling revenue (GGR), he said.

“This has led to headless sanction fees of up to SEK100m. Penalty fees of that size pose a threat to a functioning gambling market. An increase of a couple of hundred thousand kronor for a renewed gambling permit does not,” Hoffstedt said.

A spokesperson for the SGA pointed out the issue of penalty fees will be tried by the Supreme Administrative Court in 2022.

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