Online gambling is completely legal in Sweden and this includes bingo. In fact, bingo in particular is subject to the fewest restrictions. Whereas other forms of gaming are offered under a state-controlled monopoly, bingo is open to competition under certain circumstances. This means you have many more options other than the state-owned Svenska Spel.
The main thing you need to know as a customer is that you can choose from a number of large, international bingo websites. The sites listed below all accept players from Sweden and some can even process transactions in Swedish kronors.
Gambling Laws in Sweden
Internet gambling in Sweden is regulated by the 1994 Lotteries Act and the 1999 Casinos Act. Both pieces of legislation are used to interpret the legality of games, issue licenses to approved operators and enforce the state monopoly over gambling in the country.
Sweden’s monopoly over the industry has been criticized for years by the EU. The European Commission has ruled multiple times that Sweden’s protection of its state monopoly runs afoul of open competition agreements signed by EU member states. Swedish lawmakers have claimed numerous times over the years that they are on the verge of breaking up the monopoly, but nothing ever seems to happen.
Meanwhile, Swedish lawmakers make the claim that the monopoly is designed to protect citizens from the harms of gambling and is not an effort to protect the state’s financial interests in online gaming. This argument has held off EU regulators in the past, but the legal battle is ongoing to this day.
The bright spot in all this is that Sweden has no laws that prevent offshore companies from offering their services to Swedes. It is criminal offense for anyone located in Sweden to host a gaming company, but foreign operators do have access to the market.
Additionally, Swedish laws do not target individual players. If you decide to play a game of poker or a hand of blackjack at any of the many offshore providers, nobody is going to come along and put you in handcuffs.
Svenska Spel is the sole provider in Sweden authorized to offer games to citizens. It is fully state-owned and offers online poker, casino games, sports betting, bingo and lottery. The funny thing about Svenska Spel is that it is subject to burdensome regulations and is unable to effectively compete against its unlicensed rivals based out of other parts of the world.
The one advantage Svenska Spel has is its ability to advertise in Swedish media and attract customers who may not be aware of other options. Offshore operators are prohibited from radio, TV and newspaper advertising but persist nonetheless via word-of-mouth and online ads.
Svensak Spel also controls the brick-and-mortar industry via Casino Cosmopol. Casino Cosmopol operates four gambling establishments in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo and Sundsvall.
Bingo is classified as a lottery under the 1994 Lotteries Act and is not mentioned in the 1999 Casinos Act. Its classification as a lottery means bingo can be hosted by private, non-profit organizations for the purpose of raising money to promote the public good.
Non-profit lotteries are still tightly regulated by the state and must receive permits to operate. For-profit companies are barred from offering online bingo to the public, but offshore providers are under no obligation to block Swedes from participating in their games. The end result is Swedes have few choices to play at Swedish-controlled bingo sites but many choices to play at foreign operators.
Svenska Spel and BingoLotto are by far the two most popular licensed providers of online bingo in Sweden. Together, these companies have earned the business of millions of Swedes. BingoLotto has proven especially popular thanks to its long-running TV show and commitment to charity.
In more recent times, unlicensed bingo websites have taken a bite out of the market share once completely dominated by Svenska Spel and BingoLotto. It’s also worth noting that even though these offshore providers are unlicensed in Sweden, the biggest firms do hold licenses in other respectable jurisdictions.
Sweden seems insistent on maintaining a tight grip over online bingo but something needs to change. Its politicians have put the domestic industry in an awkward position where the burdensome regulations apply to licensed local sites but not to foreign sites. At the same time, citizens are under no obligation to play at state-approved bingo rooms.
Lawmakers would be wise to accept the reality of the situation and open Sweden to competition from the rest of the world. This would kill two birds with one stone by appeasing EU regulators and expanding the tax base. It’s understandable that they want to protect the profitable industry from competition, but the current legal climate does nothing of the sort. Citizens are free to play wherever they want while Swedish bingo sites such as Svenska Spel are prohibited from competing effectively due to onerous regulations.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Swedish law doesn’t restrict the movement of money to and from bingo websites. Whether you play at a licensed site or any of the others of the world, you have plenty of methods for making deposits and receiving withdrawals.
You can fund your account via electronic funds transfers, e-wallets and even cash with prepaid cards. Some of the most widely-used deposit methods in Sweden include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, PayPal, Skrill, Nordea, Instadebit, bank wire and ETF. Each site approaches deposits and withdrawals a little differently, but they all have plenty of methods.
Almost every method mentioned on our deposits page is accepted by the major bingo sites of the world. You can read more about each option on that page and find a list of sites that accept each method. You can also look at the table at the top of this page to see which websites accept Krona deposits.