Gamblers in Scandinavia have a few challenges; government regulation and issues around language and currency make it harder to play than in some other European countries, but this has done little to curb the popularity of online gaming. Below is an introduction to gambling in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
The Norwegian government has a monopoly on gambling and they protect that by trying to block overseas operators. State-owned companies Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping are the only two legal operators in Norway. Gambling with other firms is illegal in Norway.
The Norwegians use the Unlawful Internet Enforcement Act 2006 to prevent their financial institutions facilitating transactions with offshore casino providers. The legislation doesn’t target players and in practice hundreds of operators still accept payments from players in Norway. The Norwegian government’s position doesn’t look like softening any time soon.
In Norway 64% of total gross turnover in gaming was from slot machines and this kept growing before the government stepped in. Norsk Tipping was permitted to run a type of pre-paid slot machine. Online Norwegian players have a good choice of up-to-date games.
In spite of the state-run monopoly players are permitted to gamble with offshore sites. Players can withdraw and deposit money using NOK and converting to funds to EUR or GBP is fine on most sites.
Top Casino Sites in Norway
You’ve got all sorts of standard online casinos available; the likes of Dunder casino, Jackpot City and Spin Palace Casino offer a more traditional experience, whilst new-age casino gaming experiences like Casumo are great for those who want something a little bit different.
Svenska Spel manages all forms of gambling in the country, including land-based casinos. The EU requires Sweden to open up the market to competition, although change has been slow. However it looks like in 2018 we will see new laws which open the market to other operators. In practice Swedish betters are already looking overseas to find new operators.
It’s currently possible for Swedes to sign up to offshore betting sites. Casino games are popular in Sweden; they even have their own industry giant in the developer NetEnt. Games, slots and poker are all popular with Swedes, and they boast some of the best online poker pros.
To make bets, Swedish players can deposit in SEK. Paysafecard is one provider who facilitates these payments safely. Players also use iDEBIT and PayPal.
In terms of where to play, the state-run casinos offer a good spread of games but players are always looking for overseas options too.
Top Casino Sites in Sweden
- Dunder (up to 20000 SEK)
- Casumo (12000 SEK)
- Jackpot City (16000 SEK)
- Spin Palace Casino (1000 SEK)
- Thrills Flying Casino (15000 SEK)
Denmark is often held up as an example of how to run and regulate gambling. Up until 2010 state-owned Danske Spil monopolized gambling in the country. In 2012 international operators were allowed to apply for licenses in the country, and now anyone over 18 can gamble but there are safeguards in place for players.
In the first year of the new regulations 25 licenses were issued and regulations around having a presence in Denmark and paying taxes are stringent. The regulations also require operators to protect vulnerable players, identity and transactions.
There are now 200 operators in Denmark and so players have access to a wide range of games from online slots to poker, and most large operators have some presence in Denmark now.
Licensed casinos offer safe withdrawal and depositing of funds in DKK. Entropay, Neteller and Visa all support transactions in these countries.
Top Casino Sites in Denmark
Gambling is very popular in Finland, it’s reported 50% of adults bet at least once a week. Gambling is legal in Finland although only the state-owned can offer their services and the government is actively looking at ways to deter international operators from entering the market, but there is no plan to penalize players who use international operators. The current protection relies on preventing advertising with sanctions for advertisers and media companies.
The government monopoly is split between RAY (land-bases casinos), Veikkaus Oy (lottery) and Fintoto Oy (horse sports).
Currently under 10% of the gambling market is with overseas operators and the market is lucrative so overseas operators are keen to take a larger market share. More players are looking overseas in search of better games, better odds and offers – really, who can blame them? As players learn more about other options it’s likely the market share of international operators in Finland will increase.
Top Casino Sites in Finland
- Casumo (up to €1200)
- Dunder (€2000)
- Jackpot City (€1600)
- Thrills Flying Casino (€1500)
- Casino Land (€800)