What is the State of Nordic iGaming Laws?

iGaming is an industry that is growing fast around most of the world. Increased internet coverage, faster networks, mobile gaming and an acceptance of online gaming in the mainstream have all helped to accelerate this growth. With a global revenue estimated at $60 billion in 2020, iGaming is enjoying a rapid rise to prominence.

One part of the world that seems to have welcomed online casino play with open arms is the Nordic countries. Long known for their tolerance and wisdom, this is not a surprise. But what is the state of iGaming laws in the top Nordic countries?

Finland

Finland is one of the recent success stories when it comes to iGaming in Nordic countries. Although close neighbors such as Sweden might have taken to online casino gaming earlier, Finland is catching up quickly. iGaming is legal in Finland and the industry in the country is well regulated by the Lotteries Act. Although government-backed online gaming sites such as RAY and Veikkaus Oy are the only sites officially allowed to operate in Finland, players in the country also use online casinos that are based offshore.

Wherever you plan to play, you’ll be able to find top online casino sites for Finns via internet comparison sites. These sites not only tell you more about what each iGaming site offers before signing up but also helps you pick a reputable platform. With a revenue pegged at €2 billion per year and a real appetite in Finland for online games, it is hoped that future government plans might see more innovation drive the market forward.

Denmark

Denmark is another well-known Nordic country that has a thriving and totally legal iGaming sector. This sees a combination of online casino play and sports betting bring a cool €600 million per year to Danish coffers. With mobile play becoming increasingly popular, it is expected that iGaming will continue to flourish here as we move forward.

Although a government-controlled body called Danske Spil regulated the gambling market in Denmark until 2012, this function now falls under the remit of the Danish Gambling Authority. This change also saw Denmark open its iGaming market to offshore casinos and private operators. These sites must hold a license from the Danish Gambling Authority to operate, though. With clear gambling laws that protect players, ensure offshore operators are safe to use and bring much-needed external tax revenue into the Danish economy, it is a good example of a Nordic country with a well-regulated iGaming sector.

Sweden

In many ways, Sweden was a real pioneer when it comes to iGaming in Nordic countries. It fully legalized online gambling in 2002, for example, and has long focused on responsible gaming. Anyone who is over 18 years of age is eligible to play online casino games in Sweden, and games including slots and blackjack are legal here.

Like many Nordic countries, it did operate with a government monopoly on iGaming in the past. This changed in 2019 and offshore casinos can now legally operate in Sweden. This modern approach (plus a very good regulatory framework) has proved a great example of what modern iGaming should look like in the region. The main regulator here is the Swedish Gaming Authority, which issues permits that enable online casinos to operate in the country.

Norway

iGaming is totally legal in Norway also – but only if you play through the state-owned operators Norsk Tipping or Norsk Rikstoto. As with Finland, offshore casinos and private operators are not officially allowed to operate within Norwegian borders. The difference in Norway compared to Finland is that playing at offshore casinos is not tolerated by the Norwegian government. Norwegian authorities are very keen on enforcing this and new guidance in 2020 instructed banks in the country to block payments to/from offshore casino sites. These new laws, ratified in January 2021, also saw restrictions for online casino advertising brought in and the removal of popular payments methods such as Skrill.

iGaming in the Nordic countries thriving

Staying entertained in our spare time is essential for happiness. While you could watch the latest TV shows (such as Apple TV’s new show Physical), many people in the Nordic countries prefer to play casino games online. As this article shows, the main Nordic countries have vibrant iGaming industries that are well-run and well-regulated. They are a great example to the world on how to run a modern, safe iGaming sector.