The justification for this initiative is the perceived stabilisation of the gambling market since its regulatory overhaul in 2019. The Government cites high channelization rates as a significant rationale for the adjustment.
However, the proposal has met with disapproval from the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS). Gustaf Hoffstedt, the association’s Secretary-General, has voiced significant concerns over the proposed changes.
He contends that the Government’s action reveals a misunderstanding of the market dynamics it aims to regulate, thereby jeopardising the industry’s stability. Recent statistics show that the channelization rate in Sweden’s gambling market is at 77%, with some sectors like online casinos, lagging at 72%.
These numbers are notably lower than the Government’s initial target of a 90% channelization rate. Hoffstedt warns that if the Riksdag ratifies the proposed tax hike, the industry may revert to suboptimal channelization levels observed before the 2019 reforms.
Hoffstedt has urged the Government to reevaluate its stance, highlighting ample time to rescind the proposal. He stresses the need for the Government to fully comprehend the repercussions of such a tax increment on an already-challenged industry.
The proposed tax adjustment is expected to be implemented on July 1, 2024, pending further scrutiny and approval by the Riksdag. The Government plans to formally present the proposal to the legislative body in the spring of 2024.