Sweden details B2B licence plans and proposes B2C renewal fee hike

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The government first proposed introducing licences for business-to-business suppliers in January during a press conference by Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi. Under the rules, a gaming software licence would become mandatory for suppliers who offer their services to operators in Sweden. This, according to the Ministry, would help to shut down unlicensed gambling in the country.

At the time, the Ministry also suggested adjusting how gambling is marketed in Sweden to protect young people and those with gambling problems from being exposed to advertising, bringing in “stricter requirements for moderation”.

The Swedish government has now opened a consultation for how the new licensing system would work.

Under the proposed rules, the application fee for supplier licences would come to SEK120,000, while licence renewal fees for online operators would also be increased from SEK300,000 to SEK600,000.

“The current fee for renewing a licence for both commercial online gaming and betting does not take into account the Swedish Gaming Inspectorate’s actual costs for such an application,” the government said. “In principle, the same processing measures need to be taken in the case of a renewal of a licence as in the case of a new application. 

“Among other things, all checks must be carried out again in the event of a licence renewal. In addition, the gaming companies’ organisation and staff are seldom the same as at the previous application, which means that Spelinspektionen must test whether the new people and the organisation meet the set requirements.

“Against this background, Spelinspektionen’s costs for processing an application for renewal of a licence are judged to be only marginally lower than its costs for processing a new application.”

The government also said that the new fee is still “relatively low”, particularly when compared to the size of the overall online gaming market. It said that total licence fees would only make up 0.03% of total turnover for the period in which they are valid.

“The proposed new level of the licence renewal fee is therefore not expected to affect companies to any great extent at an overall level,” it said.

In addition, Spelinspektionen may issue further regulations governing the terms of a B2B licence.

The government also revealed that it expected roughly 70 software licences to be issued at launch, and that the implementation of the licences and corresponding fees should have only a “marginal effect” on competition.

“The proposals are not considered to have any other effects of significance for the licence or licensee’s working conditions, competitiveness or conditions in general,” it said.

If adopted, the rules would come into effect on 1 March, 2023, which is two months later than initially proposed.

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