Sweden has been preparing to launch its online poker industry for years and recently poker players got exactly what they had wished for and much more. It is one thing for one poker room to launch in a country but when thirteen online poker rooms are launched in any given country then there is certainly a lot to be celebrated.
Now, online poker players living in Sweden now have the option of signing up on multiple poker rooms including the renowned PokerStars platform that offers its services in almost all parts of the world. Also in the mix are several sites on Microgaming’s poker network as well as PartyPoker, an online poker platform that is owned and operated by Unibet. These sites and a few others will be joining Svenska Spel, Sweden’s previously state-owned gambling platform.
The Online Gambling License Applications
In October 2018, the country’s gambling regulator received more than 60 online gambling applications from operators who were interested in being part of the country’s new regulated gaming market. 55 of the applications were seeking licenses for casino and sports betting and, as it turns out, some of the licenses were incomplete and the regulator had even gone as far as advising the applicants to fill in the blanks.
At the time, Camilla Rosenberg, the regulator’s director general noted that the period between Swedish legislators approving the new gambling laws and the launch of the new gambling market o January 1, 2019, was extremely short. The body, therefore, prioritized the processing of the license applications, and they managed to approve quite a number by mid-December last year.
Naturally, not all of the online gambling hopefuls made it to the country’s new liberalized gaming market. Last month, the regulator gave express warning that it did not intend to award any “temporary” licenses for the operators who failed to receive the online gaming permits due to shortcomings in their applications. According to the organization, Sweden’s new online gambling laws do not allow any ‘grace period” and therefore all the operators have to be fully licensed before they begin operations.
Even though most of the large gaming operators already have software designed specifically for the Swedish market which will, therefore, require separate installations, the transition is actually going to be quite smooth for most of the customers. In fact, most of the gaming operators use the exact same online poker clients and business which will make the transition even easier.
Also, once the market stabilizes everything will go back to normal and the poker players can have just as good an experience as they did before the new legislation was implemented. Furthermore, the now liberalized gaming market in Sweden has created opportunities for other gaming platforms to venture into the market sometime in the future.