Not long ago, Sweden opened up its gambling market to foreign companies. Gambling operations here have been on a steady incline since that time. Interestingly, reports have surfaced that women make up the majority of gambling addicts in Sweden.
It’s a fascinating time in the Swedish gaming scene. Let’s look at how gambling laws have changed here recently, and why gambling addiction rates seem to be increasing.
For many years, the only legal online gambling company available in Sweden was operated by the government. This company, called Svenska Spel, helped bring in valuable revenue for the country. Last January, the government here took an unprecedented step by opening their iGaming market to foreign companies.
Spelinspektionen, Sweden’s gambling regulatory, now allows foreign gambling sites to operate here. These sites receive licenses from the government and pay taxes on revenue. The government here hasn’t made it too easy on these companies, though.
Sweden has some of the strictest regulations in Europe towards the online gambling industry. They’ve allowed citizens to choose whether or not they want to be targeted with gambling advertisements. Any company caught advertising to those who’ve barred themselves face heavy fines and the potential to lose their gaming license.
Despite heavy restrictions, more people are gambling online here than ever before. Unfortunately, there appears to be a growing number of “problem gamblers” in the country. For the first time in the country’s history, women outnumber men as gambling addicts.
There’s no doubt that Sweden’s online gambling industry is bigger than ever. Many of the very best online gambling sites in Europe are now operating inside this country. The huge number of different betting options is clearly increasing gambling addiction rates here.
Back in 2015, women only made up 18% of all gambling addicts in Sweden. According to new reports, this number has risen to an incredible 64%. Anders Hakansson, a professor at the Lund University, directly attributes this to an increase in online gambling.
“We have to consider the fact that the gambling market is very different now… mainly with the high proportion of gambling happening online,” he told the media. “Women who do seek treatment are more likely to report online casino gambling than men do.”
It’s very possible. Swedish lawmakers are taking many steps to prevent widespread problem gambling. These efforts don’t seem to be effective.
The Spelinspektionen may decide to begin implementing some of the laws found in the UK online gambling market. Not long ago, the United Kingdom considered a complete ban on credit cards for gambling. The UK Gambling Commission will likely scrap these plans, yet it’s possible that Sweden will work on something similar.
Sweden will probably work to increase restrictions on gambling advertisements, as well. Perhaps a blanket ban on all gambling marketing will take place. How lawmakers deal with an increase in problem gamblers remains to be seen.
Are you surprised that there are more women gambling addicts in Sweden than men? How will the government here respond? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!
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