Whilst it may not be the first country associated with the game, Sweden is becoming a giant in the world of poker.
Although until recently the legislature in Sweden had stifled online casinos somewhat, recent changes have brought it in-line with much of Europe. With an abundance of great deals and sites at their fingertips, Swedes often look at sites like 888poker to find the best poker deals.
Sweden may not seem a poker hotspot, with only three land-based casinos in the entire country. However, the online market is home to a dedicated and passionate player-base who have helped poker become a staple of Swedish culture.
This article details some of the key reasons why online poker is so popular in the unassuming Nordic state.
For a country that has a comparatively small population to that of other European countries, Sweden has a surprising poker pedigree. Over the years, a selection of very successful poker playing Swedes has helped to popularise the game all over the country.
Most famously, Martin Jacobson took top prize at the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event, pocketing $10,000,000 as a result. Jacobson’s compatriots Chris Bjorn and Michael Tureniec rank 2nd and 3rd respectively in amassed profits, with the latter’s being over $5 million.
Viktor Bloom is a notoriously volatile player whose exciting style has established him in the limelight. Known for both winning and losing, previously having lost $3 million in a single day, Bloom ranks 7th in the list.
Gambling Legislature in Sweden
Despite online poker’s popularity in the country, aversive gambling laws meant that originally the practice was restricted. Initially, the state run Svenska Spel had a total monopoly on the market, until the legislature introduced in 2018 encouraged diversity.
This new law allowed offshore casino companies to thrive in Sweden, and the potential of the online poker market was finally realised.
Another great perk of gambling in Sweden that gives it an edge over many other nations is how it taxes gambling. Whilst sometimes the consumer must pay tax on their winnings, this isn’t the case in Sweden and all winnings are kept.
Although Sweden’s legislature has sometimes been a handicap, poker is a socially welcomed practice enjoyed by many.
Sweden’s aim with such legislature has never been to restrict their populace or discourage playing such games. The government is simply concerned with the possibility of addiction and implements policies to counteract this.
Another way this is done is by having players who visit casinos stipulate the amount of money and time they’ll spend gambling.
The Advancement of Technology
From shopping to schoolwork, there are a whole host of activities that are becoming increasingly popular online. There is an undeniable convenience when things can be done without ever having to leave home.
Despite being a place that has a fairly concentrated population, there are still plenty of people unable to access Sweden’s land-based casinos. Without an online alternative, for many, the inconvenience of having to physically drive to a casino means they would rarely bother.
Luckily, the advent of accessible online casinos has allowed people from all over the country to get involved in one of Sweden’s favourite pastimes. The aforementioned Svenska Spel ranks in the top 20 most visited online poker sites globally.
Furthermore, the minimum age required to enter a physical casino is 20, whilst playing online can be enjoyed by over 18s. As a result, a bigger online market means that poker is able to reach considerably more people.
Sweden’s Offshore Poker Market
With a welcome change in legislature, Sweden’s poker market was allowed to evolve into the lucrative state it finds itself in today. A range of different companies are now able to implement their own policies, meaning the customer has more choice than ever before.
Different companies will host tournaments of varying buy-in price and overall prize fund. This allows both high rollers and shrewd spenders to enjoy the fun of online poker in a manner that suits them.
A competitive market also means that there are more poker promotions available than ever before. Deposit bonuses, welcome offers and tournament tokens are all helping online poker to maintain its popularity and attract new players.
Whilst in other nations, land-based casinos can be accessed across the country, residents of Sweden don’t have this luxury. With only a few across the whole territory, online poker is the easiest and most convenient way to enjoy the game.
Initially restricted by the government, policy changes mean that now the consumer has an endless selection from which to choose. Furthermore, Swedes continue to perform and win big in world-renowned tournaments which has encouraged a national enthusiasm towards online poker.
Playing a hand is extremely common in almost every country where doing so is legal, and Sweden is no different. Online poker is quickly establishing itself as one of the country’s favourite recreations, with no sign of slowing down.