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A quick overview of the Scandinavian gambling market

Driven by strong innovative offerings like the first Bitcoin lottery, the Northern countries are shaping the industry of the region.

The Scandinavian gambling market is considered to be one of the more significant and profitable in the European online casino industry. The Nordic countries, including Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark boast unique features and regulations that are serving as a driving force in the online gambling business. Driven by strong innovative offerings like the first Bitcoin lottery, the Northern countries are shaping the industry of the region.

For local players, it’s important to know which providers serve the most value. Trusted industry resources like ToppCasinoNorge provide a detailed overview of what to expect from every local operator. This includes an in-depth overview of the game variety, withdrawal speed, and available payment methods.

So, let’s take a close look at the Nordic gambling market today and which local providers have proven to be the best in the market.

Regulatory framework in Scandinavia
A decade ago, online gaming was a niche entertainment in Sweden and Norway. Between 2008 and 2014, many people in Nordic countries won millions of euros through progressive jackpots and poker, ranging from €700,000 to €7.7 million, which suddenly drew more casino players from all over Scandinavia to online platforms.

Scandinavian countries have relatively progressive online gaming laws. Each country follows its own set of online gambling regulations:

  • Norway. In Norway, online casinos operate under state-owned companies, Norsk Tipping and Norse Rikstoto. Online gambling laws are based on the US model, making any financial transaction between residents and online gambling operators illegal. Since Norway is not in the EU, operators are unable to attack the country’s laws in the EU Courts. Nevertheless, the Norwegian government does not attempt to enforce any restrictive laws on local online gambling.
  • Denmark. For over half a century, the gambling system in Denmark was managed by a state-owned company Danske Spil. After 2012, Danske Spil split into two separate companies: Danske Lotteri Spil and Danske Licens Spil, where the latter covers all online gambling activities. The Danish Gambling Authority (DGA) controls the online gambling market, including casino gaming, poker, bingo, and betting activities, and helps offshore operators lawfully operate while generating revenue for the state.
  • Sweden. It took a while for Sweden to legislate a Swedish Gambling Act. Svenska Spel which used to be the only legalized gambling company and have full control in Sweden for all kinds of online gambling offerings, from sports betting to lotteries. Now they allow private operators to enter the local market through obtaining a license from Svenska Spel. The two main laws that regulate gambling in Sweden are Lotterilagen, The Lotteries Act, and Kasinolag, The Casinos Act. Changes to the Lotteries Act in 2002 allowed Svenska Spel to open the online market.
  • Finland. The government holds a monopoly over all gambling in the country by having three providers: Raha-Automaattiyhdistys (RAY, Finland’s Slot Machine Association); Fintoto Oy; Veikkaus Oy (Finnish National Lottery). PAF organization controls gambling in the Aland province. The competition started mainly with the appearance of online gambling since PAF provided online casinos and sportsbooks at better odds. Finland’s 2002 Act on Gaming gave RAY a monopoly in providing online gambling for the mainland. PAF continued its activities, and legal actions took place, leading the government to allow both organizations to compete on the Finnish mainland.

Market size and growth trends
Scandinavians are enthusiastic about online gaming. According to Statista, The iGaming industry in the Nordics is projected to reach a revenue of US$4.96bn in 2024. In Denmark specifically, a combination of online casinos and sports betting makes up the over €600 million industry, with growth being pushed by the embrace of mobile betting.

Moreover, by 2028, the number of online casino players in Scandinavia is expected to reach 4 million users. This only shows the growing popularity of online gambling in the market, and it’s been reported that Sweden is an emerging key player in terms of new players and revenue growth.

Popular gambling activities
A decade ago, online gaming was a small niche concentrated in Sweden and Norway. Then jackpots and poker happened and suddenly there was an influx of casino players all over Scandinavia.

Scandinavians prefer to play casino games on mobile devices, as it makes it easy to play slots when you want. Also, there’s the option to use a native app or mobile website on your iOS or Android device. Mobile games are more interactive with advanced graphics, bonuses, and live gaming.

Also, one of the most popular sports betting activities in Finland is Pesäpallo, a variation of baseball, which is often considered to be the country’s national sport.

Top three key players in the Scandinavian market
Here are the major gambling operators and companies that dominate the Scandinavian iGaming market.

Seven casino
This is a prominent gambling platform, which is known among players for its diverse gaming offerings and user-friendly interface. Seven Casino offers slots, live dealer options as well as table games. The provider complies with strict regulation standards to ensure fair play and data protection.

Playfina casino
Playfina Casino is a reading online casino with an extensive game library and specialized features. The platform offers players a wider range of options, including slots, table games, and more. Intuitive navigation and responsive customer support set this provider apart from the competition, as they truly invest in player satisfaction.

Casino rocket
This is a dynamic casino with futuristic themes and cutting-edge game options. Casino Rocket offers classic slots as well as immersive live dealer games, which players in Scandinavian countries enjoy the most. This operator prioritizes accessibility and convenience by having seamless integrations across mobile devices and desktops. Fast payouts, secure deposits, and stellar customer support make Casino Rocket one of the top gaming platforms in the region.

Technological advancements and innovation
In Scandinavia, nearly every bank accepts payments to online casinos. Besides that, there is a large number of e-wallets, working with online gambling providers. Payment options usually include cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and debit cards. Players can deposit as little as $10 and quickly withdraw whatever they win.

That’s unlike many countries where banks and e-wallets refuse payments to online casinos. In the US, for example, many credit card systems reject payments from online casinos even in states where online gambling is legal. Also, Scandinavian countries have many ‘no-account’ casinos and other innovative online gaming platforms, which have been particularly popular in Finland.

Responsible gambling initiatives
Responsible gambling initiatives are deeply ingrained within the industry, reflecting a collective commitment to promoting sustainable gaming practices. Regulatory authorities and industry stakeholders work hand-in-hand to foster responsible gambling behaviors and minimize the potential harms of excessive gaming.

One of the key practices is the establishment of robust self-exclusion programs. These empower players to take control of their gaming habits by allowing them to voluntarily exclude themselves from participating in gambling activities for a specified period.

An example of this is ROFUS in Denmark, a register where players can voluntarily exclude themselves from gambling websites. If in July 2015 more than 5,300 people were registered in ROFUS, we find that around 70% of them have excluded themselves from the list and the tendency continues.

Final thoughts
Online gaming has become a favorite type of entertainment for millions of people in Scandinavian countries. As the Nordic iGaming industry continues to be highly competitive, the online casino offerings will only be more and more disruptive and innovative. As stakeholders navigate the main challenges of the modern online gaming world, one thing is clear: the Scandinavian gambling market is a force for continued success and leadership in the global industry.

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