Why are Casinos Without License Becoming Big in Scandinavia?

The Scandinavian countries – Sweden, Norway and Denmark – reserve different opinions regarding gambling. Each country has its own regulator imposing stringent rules on the locally licensed operators, which, at times, don’t go down well with the players.

The Scandinavian countries – Sweden, Norway and Denmark – reserve different opinions regarding gambling. Each country has its own regulator imposing stringent rules on the locally licensed operators, which, at times, don’t go down well with the players. This is why, like north-seeking-poles, they have now resorted to casinos without license.

These are online operators that are licensed by a regulator foreign to Scandinavian countries, such as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and Curacao e-Gaming. They are not subject to the same laws and hence, more lenient when it comes to bonuses, games, self-exclusion programs and taxes on winnings.

Before we discuss the advantages of playing at these unlicensed casinos, let’s get a glimpse of the gambling landscape in each of the three countries.

Gambling Rules in Scandinavia

Sweden: Spelinspektionen, the Swedish Gambling Authority is in charge of the gambling market in the country. It is responsible for ensuring the legality, safety and reliability of all licensed operators and enabling fair gaming for players whilst minimising the adverse effects of gambling.

The country has a state monopoly in the market, which restricts operators without a Swedish license from advertising within or serving it. Furthermore, to curb problem gambling, Spelinspektionen has placed certain rules such according to which players can receive only one bonus per casino and need to wait for 3 seconds after every slot spin.

It also has a national self-exclusion program called Spelpaus pans all Swedish casinos. Once you register, you would be prohibited entry to all such casinos of a defined period. Because Spelpaus requires players to use their BankID, it is impossible to bypass the ban. It is also worth noting that Sweden imposes a tax of 30% on players who win more than 100 SEK in foreign casinos licensed by Curacao e-Gaming and the UKGC.

Norway: Lotteritilsynet, the Norwegian Gaming Authority is way ahead of other Scandinavian regulators when it comes to stringency. Gambling in Norway is primarily illegal. The country has resorted to a strict licensed-based system where only two companies – Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto are permitted to offer services to resident players.

Both the companies are state-owned. Norsk Tipping is responsible for setting rules regarding how much money a player can spend in betting and at what time of the day he or she can play. The company offers several betting avenues, including sports betting, keno and lotteries. Norsk Rikstoto, on the other hand, arranges horse race betting.

It is interesting how Norway uses the word ‘lottery’ as an umbrella term to include almost all gambling activities such as slots, betting, lotto, and other casino games of skill and chance.

The country’s law prohibits unauthorised gaming operators, which can be Norwegian or otherwise. Needless to say, casinos that are without a license are banned from advertising here, although there’s no restriction on players from reaching out to them. Like Sweden, Norway, too, imposes a 23% tax on winnings that exceed 10,000 NOK.

Denmark: Like the other Scandinavian countries, Denmark, too, exerts a state monopoly when it comes to gambling. Spillemyndigheden, the Danish Gambling Authority functions under the Danish Ministry of Taxation to take care of the gambling market in the country.

The regulator is tasked with supervising relevant legislation regarding lotteries, online casinos, betting, poker tournaments, land-based casinos and gaming machines. As part of the legal requirements, no unauthorized or foreign casino can target Danish players via advertisements in the regional languages or accept payments in Kroner.

However, the latter is not restricted entry in such casinos. Although the regulator can issue cease-and-desist letters to owners of unlicensed iGaming domains and order ISPs to block them, the enforcement of fines and penalties on foreign casinos has not been reported yet.

It should be noted that Denmark has a national self-exclusion program called ROFUS, which restricts entry to all Danish casinos when you sign up for it. Players must register with their NemID and cannot terminate the suspension before time. Moreover, winnings from foreign casinos can be taxed up to 62% depending on the total amount and a player’s income in general.

The Popularity of Casinos Without License

If you’ve read through the discussion so far, you would know how the Scandinavian laws around gambling are extremely restrictive. This is where casinos without license come into play. They are a respite from Scandinavian casinos in the following ways:

Bonuses in plenty: Most Scandinavian casinos restrict players to one bonus, which is basically the welcome offer. This is not the case with unlicensed casinos where the bonuses and promotional offers are available in plenty. Welcome bonus, free spins, free bets, cashbacks, loyalty offers – you name it, they have it.

No national self-exclusion program: Most foreign casinos comes without a nationwide self-exclusion program except UKGC-licensed casinos that implement Gamstop. It means, even if you excluded yourself using Spelpaus or ROFUS, you can access these casinos. Also, even if you excluded yourself from access one such casino, you can play at another.

Games galore: Foreign casinos have a better game range because of their ability to operate restriction-free. They partner with the industry’s top game providers to bring iGaming content of the highest quality to their players.

Tax-free winnings: Winnings from foreign casinos, especially those that are Curacao licensed, are usually taxable in Scandinavia. However, the same rule doesn’t apply to MGA-licensed casinos because the MGA operates within the EU. Thus, players can enjoy all the benefits they wouldn’t receive in a Scandinavian casino and walk away with tax-free winnings as well.

To Conclude…

Unlicensed online casinos are gaining popularity in Scandinavia because they offer more and better benefits to players that are missing in locally licensed casinos. Because these casinos are legit, they offer a safe gambling environment. They are advocates of responsible gambling and partner with trusted payment processors so that your money is in safe hands.

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