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Svenska Spel looks forward to online casino debut

| By iGB Editorial Team
State-owned operator eager to compete on "equal terms" after iGaming licence award

Svenska Spel is eager to debut its online casino in Sweden after being named among the first licensees for the re-regulated market.

The state-owned operator has today (November 30) been awarded permits to offer both online gaming and sports betting from January 1 by regulator Lotteriinspektionen.

The company has held a betting monopoly in Sweden for more than 20 years, but the terms of its licence meant it was unable to compete with unlicensed online rivals offering products such as online casino and poker.

Speaking to iGamingBusiness.com, Helene Cedertorn (pictured), Svenska Spel’s chief compliance officer, said it is now eager to face new licensed rivals such as Bet365 and Unibet, who will also offer betting and casino, on “equal terms”.

“We are of course happy to have been awarded licenses,” Cedertorn said. “It means we can continue our preparations for the new Swedish gambling market according to plan, and that we will finally be able to compete on equal terms.

“It also means that we will have licences for games that we have not previously been able to offer to our customers, such as online casino and horse race betting.

“Above all, the new gambling legislation means we are at last getting an orderly gambling market in Sweden. We will have a level playing field for gambling operators, increased revenues for the state, and clear rules to protect customers against excessive gambling thanks to stronger and better consumer protection.”

Svenska Spel has lost market share in recent years with many believing the popularity of online casino has been key to the rise of its unlicensed rivals.

Meanwhile, Kindred is also finalising its preparations for its January ‘launch’ in Sweden after it was awarded gaming and betting licences.

Dersim Sylwan, general manager (Sweden), said the company is “well prepared for the new licence market, both from a technical, compliance and commercial point of view.”

He added that the company is also determined to “give back to society” through sponsorships and other initiatives, citing its new SEK1.8bn (€172.9m/$200.1m) partnership with Svensk Elitfotboll through which it will become the main sponsor of the country’s top two football leagues for 12 years from 2020.

“Even though this is a great day for us, we strongly believe the Swedish customers are the big winners in the new licence market that will lead to improved player safety, product offerings and overall gambling experience,” Sylwan told iGamingBusiness.com.

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