The Swedish Gambling Authority Offers New Guidance on Virtual Sports

22 April 2020

When it was announced that the Coronavirus had become a global pandemic, sporting events around the world were cancelled; from Formula 1 to the English Premier League (EPL) and boxing to horse racing. No sports mean no sports betting markets and for some operators, this would lead to a massive decline in revenue. But there are ways to place bets on sports – virtual sports that is.

April 4th, 2020 should’ve been the 173rd annual running of the Grand National horse race at Aintree in Liverpool (England), but it was cancelled. That didn’t stop the race going ahead though. On this same day, a virtual race was broadcast live with algorithms to determine who would win.

Virtuals have always been there, but only now they’re being acknowledged, and this has led to license holders in Sweden, calling for more clarity on what is legal. The Swedish gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen has responded to queries in relation to virtual sports content and simulated events, by revealing that Swedish sportsbook operators need do nothing more than what they’re already doing. As long as the operator bears the Spelinspektionen stamp of approval (license), they’re operating within the law.

“The Gaming Act is not limited to what betting forms can be provided within the license, regardless of the betting forms that the applicant crossed in his application. However, the terms of the license indicate which types of betting must not be offered”