The Swedish government, known as Regeringen, has released a proposal to raise the gambling tax rate in the country from 18% to 22% of Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR). If this proposal is approved, the new tax rate will take effect on July 1, 2024. The move is expected to generate an additional SEK 540 million (about £39.3 million/€45.5 million/$48.4 million) in annual tax revenue.
Regeringen’s decision to increase the tax rate is based on the belief that the gambling market has stabilized since its re-regulation in 2019. Back then, Sweden opened its doors to the iGaming market, allowing operators to apply for licenses and legally offer gambling services in the country. Furthermore, Regeringen expressed concerns about channelisation in Sweden and believes that a tax rate exceeding 20% will help achieve a channelisation rate of at least 90%.
According to Regeringen, “The current tax rate of 18% has applied since the Swedish gambling market was reregulated in 2019. The gambling market has since stabilized, and channelisation has increased significantly. In addition, measures have been taken to exclude unlicensed gambling from the Swedish market, which came into effect on 1 July 2023. The reasons for caution when setting the tax level should, therefore, not be as strong now as during the reregulation. An increase from 18% to 22% is judged to be at a suitable level to strengthen the financing of government activities, without it leading to too great an impact on the companies and the size of the tax base.”
However, the Online Gaming Industry Association (BOS) has expressed strong opposition to this proposal. BOS Secretary-general Gustaf Hoffstedt criticized the government’s decision and called for a reevaluation of the plans. Hoffstedt pointed out that channelisation in the Swedish gambling market stands at 77%, describing it as a “critically low” rate. He urged the government to reconsider the proposal, highlighting that it could lead to channelisation rates similar to those before the 2019 re-regulation.
Hoffstedt stated, “Sweden’s government must perform much better than this. There is still time to withdraw the proposal.”
As the proposal is presented and debated, Sweden’s gambling industry awaits further developments, with potential implications for operators and the market’s future landscape.
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