Swedish Gaming Trade Group Blasts Government’s Plans for 22% Tax Hike

  • The Swedish government has proposed hiking tax on GGR to 22%
  • It attributed the plans to market stability, more Swedes gambling
  • BOS refuted Govt’s claim, arguing channelization was still low
Sweden and EU flag
The Swedish gambling trade association believes its government has made a big mistake in proposing raising GGR tax to 22%. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

BOS bashes proposal

The Swedish government’s proposal to increase gambling tax has not gone down well with the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling, Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS).

still time to withdraw the proposal.”

BOS Secretary General Gustaf Hoffstedt expressed his disapproval of the government’s Wednesday proposal of raising the tax on gross gambling revenue (GGR) from 18% to 22%. He said there was “still time to withdraw the proposal.”

While the proposal still needs further approvals, the government is looking to start the tax hike from July 1, 2024. The Swedish government states the proposed hike will swell national coffers by an additional SEK540.0m ($48.4m) in tax revenue each year.

BOS, however, stated it does not understand “the vulnerable position” Swedish gaming is supposedly in.

Out of touch?

In a BOS press release, Hoffstedt added that the government “does not understand […] what kind of market it is set to govern.”

The government supported its move to raise taxes by claiming the Swedish gambling market has likely stabilized since it underwent reregulation in 2019. Officials also noted a rise in Swedish bettors entering the licensed gambling market.

channelization in the Swedish gambling market is actually 77%

Hoffstedt was having none of it. In a BOS press release, the exec poured cold water on the government’s channelization target of 90%. Pointing to a recent BOS report, Hoffstedt stated channelization in the Swedish gambling market is actually 77%. Verticals such as online casino, he added, were “as low as 72%.”

Channelization is the degree to which a nation’s residents gamble on licensed websites rather than with illegal black market operators. Low levels of channelization in Sweden have been a hot topic since the market’s reregulation. Gaming execs claim high taxes for licensees will have a negative knock-on effect on channelization.

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