The gaming industry in Sweden is currently monopolized by Svenka Spel, the lottery agency, and Travoch Galopp, Sweden’s horse racing association. As it stands now, they control all of the countries casino, online gaming and poker tournaments, and have brought harsh criticism from the European Union because of the conglomerates overarching control. Sweden in considering breaking up the monopoly, which may prove especially lucrative to other European businesses looking to tap into Sweden’s online gaming industry, which also includes sports and bingo wagers. Swedish officials have considered using IP blocks to prevent citizens from accessing foreign gambling sites, but to date, these measures have not been put into effect. Foreign markets are still permitted to participate in sports betting, but Svenka Spel still retains its hold on Sweden’s online horse racing business.
Although Sweden has continued to support, but closely monitor, its online gambling industry, it has prohibited ads for online casino games coming from outside Sweden, arguing that such ads compromised public health. The law also bans unlicensed gamers in Sweden from advertising their sites. While top poker sites continue to bring in a constant flow of players, Sweden is continuing to expand its online possibilities by teaming up with companies like Raha-Automaattiyhdistys (RAY), Finland’s internet gambling giant, to provide gaming software. PlayScan, owned by Svenska Spel, allows players to monitor their habits by predictive and mental information, based on their player profiles and behavior. Tools like this, and conferences like Stockholm’s Financing for Online Gambling in November of 2011, are continuing to increase Sweden’s profile as a highly regulated, but optimistic internet gaming force.