Poker popularity growth in Scandinavian Countries


A few decades ago, poker in Europe and particularly in Scandinavian countries like Norway or Sweden wasn’t as popular as it is today. The country has a history of gambling and goes way back to 1020 when the kings of Sweden and Norway rolled dice to decide who would get a specific piece of territory, and many Viking tribes also practised games of chance. 

Earlier, the laws governing gambling were a wee bit stringent as compared to what they are today. Last year in November, the gambling laws in Sweden were relaxed, breaking the monopoly that was owned by Svenska Spel all these years. 

A few years ago, Norway relaxed their laws, and it is no longer completely illegal to play poker in the country. It was partially softened in 2014. Denmark, was one of the first countries in Scandinavia to legalize poker after the win of Dane Gus Hansen in the early 2000s. It is one of the country’s that produces the best poker stars of the world. 

Now the countries have allowed online poker players and operators to conduct business and games within the state. However, all is not accessible, and still, laws govern to protect the player heavily. When last year, the Swedish government opened its market to the international operators, they received license applications from at least five online gambling operators. Some of the big names that operate games there are 888poker Sweden and poker norge. These operators provide games like Texas Hold’Em, 7 Card Stud, Blast and Snap. 

Online gambling is still illegal in most Scandinavian countries. There are exceptions, though. In Norway, for instance, it is acceptable if the betting is being offered by one of the two licensed providers. And in all countries, outside gambling sites, those based in Europe and International territories, are popular.  

With the relaxing of a few laws, Sweden has quickly topped the list of popular countries for playing poker in the world. It is seconded closely by Norway but the best poker players in the Scandinavian region hail from Denmark. The tax laws in Sweden charge nothing if you are playing on home ground websites and up to 30% of taxes if you are playing on international websites. 

Horse racing is popular in Norway, although this is very different from the horse racing you will find in the UK, Ireland and Dubai. In Sweden, Svenska Spel provides most of the gambling, and thanks to a law that was passed in 2002, they can offer everything from online poker to bingo and scratch cards. In Finland, the Casino Helsinki is where most of the gambling takes place, and the profits from this casino go back into the community, with most of it going to help gambling addicts. Both of the two legal casinos in Finland operate in much the same way. In Denmark, online gambling is relatively accessible, as are fantasy sports, and imminent changes to the gambling laws in this country could create more freedoms for its gamblers.

New Laws of 2019 

Sweden has finally put into effect the provisions of its much anticipated “Re-Regulated Gambling Market” legislation. The Government’s quasi-monopoly on gambling services ends with the introduction of a licensing framework for international gambling operators, including in the online space. The new rules were enforced in January 2019. By the law, all gambling activities in Sweden are divided into three broad categories: the competition sector, the government sector and the non-profit sector. All companies wishing to offer gambling services in Sweden must obtain a valid license from the lottery inspection. Many big companies have applied for license owing to the low tax rate of 18%. Some of these names are Betsson, ElectraWorks, PartyPoker, 888poker Sweden, poker norge and Bwin.

Poker 2020 in Scandinavia 

Poker is only expected to grow in the coming years in Europe and Scandinavia. They have registered themselves already for the 2020 World Series of Poker (WSOP). This will begin in June next year. The eSports industry is on the rise. It is anticipated that eSports revenues could hit the

$1.5 billion mark by 2020.

Due to that projection, it is understandable that many predict eSports will become big news within the gambling industry over the coming years. This growth has already been evident, with global eSports tournaments thriving year-upon-year. The next big innovation to make gamble the emergence of VR casinos has already begun. Operators have launched sites such as Casino VR and SlotsMillion VR. 

There are a lot of tournaments for which countries in Scandinavia like Sweden and Norway have booked themselves to be a part of. Norway is the 9th in the world with the best poker players in the world. The rest of the countries are catching up with introducing games and leniency in their taxing laws to maintain order and the interest of the citizens of their countries.