Increased gambling tax in Sweden comes into effect

  • 1 min read
Increased gambling tax in Sweden comes into effect

Sweden has increased excise tax on gambling takes effect today, Monday, July 1.

The new tax rate, which has risen to 22 percent from 18 percent, covers all sectors and received mixed reactions within the Swedish industry before being approved by the government in May.

The gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, stated that while it had “no substantive objections” to the tax increase, it cautioned about “certain difficulties” in “assessing the potential consequences” of the change. It highlighted concerns about the potential impact on the channeling of players towards legal gambling routes and the influence on the illegal market.

Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary general of the trade association BOS, noted that the unlicensed and illegal gaming market in Sweden would likely “gain market share” as a result of the new tax regime.

Swedish operator ATG, which focuses primarily on racetracks and horseracing, argued for maintaining the current betting tax and instead proposed raising the tax on commercial online gambling to 26 percent. ATG CEO Hans Lord Skarplöth emphasized that the online casino market is “considerably larger” than the betting market and is the “fastest-growing part of the market.”

However, the government’s memorandum stated:

An increase from 18 to 22 percent is assessed in this context to be appropriate to strengthen the financing of state activities without causing a significant impact on businesses and the size of the tax base.

The proposal is expected to increase tax revenue by SEK270 million (£20.4 million) in 2024 and by SEK540 million (£40.9 million) thereafter.

The plans were first announced in September 2023, with the government asserting that, following re-regulation in 2019, the Swedish market had stabilized.