Sweden could end online gambling monopoly

An investigation conducted by the government of Sweden will be in charge of looking into the possibility of scrapping the online gambling monopoly.

Sweden.- An unnamed source confirmed that the government of Sweden asked Hakan Hallstedt to investigate the possibility of end the online gambling monopoly and turn the industry into a system that allows multiple companies to be licensed and taxed.

Reuters reported that Hakan Hallstedt is set to recommend today on a presentation that online gambling operators pay an 18 percent tax on the gross gaming revenue. This way, 90 percent of the Swedish market would be licensed and generating taxes from gambling. The government is trying to bring foreign online gambling companies like Betsson in order to finish the historic monopoly in the country. These firms operate in other European countries and have shown a growing share of revenue from online betting thanks to good regulations.

Last year, a report issued by Copenhagen Economics revealed that the government was trying to implement a shift from a monopoly to a system that allows multiple online gambling companies to operate in the country. The researcher suggested that in order to make this shift happen, the government should attract international operators to apply for licenses in Sweden and online gamblers to become clients of the licensed sites. The report that was prepared on behalf of the Association of Online Gambling Operators said that a tax rate below 15 percent could lead to incremental increases in channelisation, at the expense of lower tax revenue for the state. A tax rate over 20 percent would lead those channeling rates to fall to 80 percent or below.

According to the regulatory body Lotteriinspektionen, the state-owned gambling operator Svenska Spel accounted 40 percent of the entire market in the first nine months of 2016, and generated more than US$1.7 billion in revenue in the third quarter, 5 percent higher than the previous year.