Casinos in Sweden, as well as gambling business in general, have had a long history of ups and downs. Now four modern gambling establishments administered by a state-owned company are the result of the centuries-old struggle for gambling legalization.
Gambling in Sweden: Background
The Swedes started being interested in gambling in ancient times. Recent excavation has revealed gambling objects dating back to 200 AD. The chronicles of the 15th century told about the advent of card games in the country.
In the 18th century, the first Swedish casino was opened offering its customers traditional games of the time. The casinos had been operating until gambling was banned in the 19th century. The ban was initiated by the church on the grounds of spreading the fall of morality among the parishioners.
However, the gambling business had been waiting for rebirth. At the end of the 19th century, the first Swedish lottery started and in the middle of the 20th century gaming houses, lotto and greyhound racing betting were legalized.
It was a breakthrough for gambling business. Lobbying interests of this industry resulted in legalization of casino operation in Sweden in 1999.
Legal Regulation of Casino Operation
The legal regulation of gambling establishments’ operation in the country is carried out by Svenska Spel. Private firms are not allowed to open casinos or organize lotteries – this is the exclusive responsibility of the state.
After the gambling business legalization, the government issued a license for the construction of a casino to a subsidiary of AB Svenska Spel – Casino Cosmopol AB. It had been planned to build six casinos, but later their number was reduced to four. Construction began in the major cities of Sweden – Stockholm (the capital), Malmo, Gothenburg and Sundsvall.
Currently, there are four official casinos in this northern European country. They belong to the state-owned company Cosmopol.
Casino Cosmopol Sundsvall is located in the city of Sundsvall. The establishment was opened in June 2001 and is housed in the building of an old station, built in the late 19th century. It offers:
- 15 gaming tables;
- 140 slot machines.
Cosmopol Casino Stockholm has been operating in the capital since March 2003. Previously, there was a restaurant and a nightclub in the building of the casino, but now there are:
- 36 gaming tables;
- 399 slot machines.
Casino Cosmopol Malmo was built in the city of Malmo in November 2001. The building is located in the King's Park where customers can gamble on:
- 26 gaming tables;
- 260 slot machines.
Casino Cosmopol Goteborg was opened in Gothenburg in August 2002. Initially, the establishment had been located in the small old customs building, but later it was extended. Currently, the casino has:
- 41 gaming tables, 17 of them – in the Poker Room;
- 343 slot machines.
Land-Based and Online Gambling
According to the Ministry of Finance, the gross income from casino operation in Sweden in 2018 amounted to almost €2.2 billion, showing growth in profitability comparing with the previous year.
Online casinos open up good prospects for the gambling business in the country. By the way, one of the largest casino software developers, NetEnt, is registered in Sweden.
The company is a pioneer and recognized leader in the online casino game development. Their portfolio of games includes hundreds of unique themed slots. One of NetEnt’s products, the Mega Fortune slot machine, has received the Guinness Book of Records certificate for the biggest prize in the history of online casinos – €17 million.
Online casinos, including European resources for the Swedish market, are not prohibited in Sweden. Local companies create their own web resources, such as Betsson.com, Unibet.com and others.
When registering, Swedish players are required to provide personal details, including the social security card number and the address. In addition, it is necessary to have a Swedish bank account, and indicate the amount they are willing to spend at the online casino in a week.
Amazing Facts about Swedish Casinos
Casinos in Sweden can boast of the biggest win in the history of the country. It was received at Casino Cosmopol Stockholm in 2012, when the client won a jackpot of 33.8 million kroons (€3.7 million). The previous record had been set at the Cosmopol Casino (€1.68 million).
People in Sweden prefer gambling in online casinos. The most famous winning was received by a user of casino Unibet.com, who made a bet of €50 and won €4.1 million. The biggest win at casino Unibet.com was the jackpot of €7.6 million.