History and future prospects of the Swedish gambling industry

Today, few would dispute that the Swedes are a very gambling-loving nation. This is evidenced by the more than €5 billion in annual revenue generated by the gambling industry. When you consider what a Swedish gaming license casino generates in profit, which has also exploded during the corona pandemic, it is actually quite astonishing. Even for a country as small as Sweden?.

How it all started

According to National Archives documents, gambling in today’s Sweden began almost two millennia ago. Thus, the oldest gaming pieces found here date from around 200 AD. A medieval Swedish historian told us that already in the early 15th century, card games had appeared in the country and were in constant demand among the population.

But local researchers believe that there was a casino in Sweden already in the early 18th century. You could easily play roulette, faro and basse, which were popular games at the time.

In the mid-19th century, however, gambling houses were officially banned. The initiator of the ban was the Church of Sweden, which called gambling “devilish” emotions and banned its parishioners from gambling.

For a little more than fifty years, the gaming industry has not given up hope of a return match. At the end of the century, Sweden’s state-run Penninglotteriet began operating legally, giving the country’s gambling industry the first hope of recovery in the near future.

The Swedish gambling industry in the 20th century

After World War II, a huge change began to affect attitudes towards the gambling industry around the world. As early as the 1950s, betting on horse races, bingo and even gambling halls were legalized in Sweden. In some, albeit very small, establishments it became possible to play on slot machines. It seemed like the gaming industry didn’t have long to wait for a breakthrough.

It seemed perfectly logical, as the issue of opening Sweden’s first land-based casino had been lobbied in parliament since 1970. In early 1999, the government decided that several classic no-limit casinos with international regulations would be established in the country.

Currently, there are at least 50 legal forms of gambling used in land-based casinos in Sweden, including poker, blackjack and other popular card games.

Legislation for Swedish physical casinos

There are four legal gambling companies in Sweden. The state-owned company Svenska Spel is the legal regulator for all of these. Private organizations and companies in the country are not allowed to open physical gambling establishments or conduct lotteries of any kind.

After gambling was fully legalized in the country, Parliament granted Casino Cosmopol AB (a subsidiary of Svenska Spel) permission to build six casinos. Later, after a preliminary study of Cosmopol, it was decided that four gambling outlets would be enough to saturate the local gambling market.

Let’s list all the land-based casinos in Sweden.

Casino Cosmopol Sundsvall. It is Sweden’s first legal casino which opened in June 2001 in an old railway station built in 1874. At the same time, it is the country’s smallest casino.

Casino Cosmopo Malmo. It opened its doors to the public in November 2001. The building is located in Parque del Rey and offers 26 gaming tables and 260 slot machines.

Casino Cosmopolis Goteborg. Started operations in August 2002. The casino was housed in the old customs building, which was later complemented by new premises. There are 41 gaming tables and 343 slot machines.

Casino Cosmopolis Stockholm. This casino began operations in 2003. There used to be a restaurant and a nightclub on the site of the gaming office.

Online gambling in Sweden

Today, online casinos are very popular all over the world, and Sweden is no exception to the rule. Sweden is a country that is at the forefront of innovative internet technology and the same goes for online gambling in the country.

Given that online casinos outside of Swedish territory are regulated under EU law, local players may be able to visit these gambling portals legally. This means that many European online gambling sites are targeting Swedish players.


The general opinion is that gambling in Sweden is reliable and very promising. There are four land-based casinos in the country, and virtual gambling is growing in popularity everywhere. The Swedish authorities have created a strict regulatory framework for offline gambling and protect online casino customers.

You Might Also Like