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Useful gambling - an example of Sweden for Ukraine


Ukrainian legal gambling market is still in the stage of formation. And until appropriate regulatory and legislative measures are taken, this process will not be completed. At the same time, it is very important for any system at the stage of formation to use the experience of similar, better developed systems. In this context, the legal gambling market in Sweden is interesting. It is distinguished by effective regulatory mechanisms and prioritizes the protection of players' rights.


If gambling were not a type of business that poses risk for a reputation, there would not be so many manipulations around it as we see today in Ukrainian realities. While legal organizers are subjected to devastating criticism, illegal gambling businesses continue to work smoothly, creating a large number of problems for the state and players. This certainly does not add stability to the industry. Risks related to gambling can only be effectively regulated if there are appropriate regulatory conditions in the market and appropriate mechanisms to encourage gambling organizers to comply with them.


Sweden is an example of such a market, with a combined revenue of USD 2.48 billion in 2022. At the same time, the Swedish budget received more than USD 690 million in revenues from license fees and taxes. By the way, in its current form, the market has been operating only since 2018, when relevant changes were made to the licensing and tax legislation.


Abolition of the state monopoly on gambling and organizing of the licensing system were the main innovations of the updated legislation. Thanks to this, private companies appeared in several gambling sectors at once, which led to a rapid growth of the market. Currently, the legal gambling industry in Sweden employs more than 2,500 people, and another 10,000 people work for Swedish gambling companies abroad.


In addition to that, Sweden also managed to balance a number of important factors that strengthened the stability of the market and increased the security of players.


1. The relatively small cost of licenses (measured in tens of thousands of euros) for various online and offline types of gambling allowed a large number of companies to immediately enter the market and start making money. The resulting high competition is not only beneficial for the state budget, but also positively affects the quality of the provision of gambling services and the observance of players' rights.


2. The legislation establishes clear responsibility for activities in the field of organization and conduct of gambling in the territory of Sweden without a corresponding license. This allows very effective identification of illegal gambling companies, fighting against their activities and thus increasing security of players.


3. In Sweden, there is clear legislation that regulates gambling advertising. Its violation involves fines. This again allows better control of gambling information that reaches players and prevents manipulation and abuse by gambling organizers.


4. According to statistics, only 4% of Swedish gamblers with the age from 18 to 84 demonstrate risky gambling behaviour. And only 0.5% suffer from gaming addiction. The percentage is quite insignificant, but even for these people Sweden implemented a simple and effective mechanism of self-limitation from participating in gambling.


Regulatory requirements for the gambling business in Sweden are designed to protect players as much as possible and at the same time create conditions for the development of the legal market, while it would be unprofitable to work "underground". There are also relevant legislative developments in Ukraine, it only remains to implement them.

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