April 26, 2024 3 min read


ATG CEO Hints Sweden’s Government Is Open to Amend Tax Hike

ATG’s chief executive officer has suggested Sweden’s government might be willing to amend the gross gaming revenue tax hike proposal

Swedish gambling operator ATG’s chief executive officer, Hans Lord Skarplöth, has suggested the government might be willing to amend the gross gaming revenue tax hike proposal.

Seminar for 20 Politicians

In a blog post on the ATG platform online, CEO Skarplöth explained the unique betting company launched in 1974 has hosted a gambling-connected seminar for 20 Swedish politicians, taking the opportunity to express concerns regarding the proposed tax rise.

The government wishes to boost the tax rate from 18% to 22% effective in July. The CEO has previously asked for different rates for horseracing and sports operators and operators of online casinos.

While Skarplöth did not provide any details on how the tiered tax system would be used, he did suggest that online casinos have the potential to cause more gambling-related harm when compared to sports betting.

Minister for Financial Markets “Doesn’t Close Any Doors”

One of the 20 seminar attendees was Sweden’s minister for financial markets, Niklas Wykman, who is also a representative of the Moderate Party. 

Discussing his appointment with Wykman, the CEO explained the former called the tax boost a “disadvantage” from a regulatory point of view. 

He argued that the rise could cause players to join less safe companies that can draw them in with bonuses and foul play, in a manner that the gambling regulations do not allow.

Moreover, Skarplöth added that Wykman “has insight into all this and says he ‘doesn’t close any doors’ to ATG’s proposal for a differentiated tax.”

The minister for financial markets repeatedly made use of the word “exploitation,” explained the CEO, an opinion that he also agreed with.

Skarplöth also explained the minister’s openness to new talks should help ATG prepare for the upcoming annual cross-party political forum in Almedalen “with a crystal-clear focus.”

Ongoing Fight Against Unlicensed Companies 

Skarplöth also spoke about Wykman’s willingness to stay committed to cracking down on the illegal gambling market in the country, explaining the government’s battle against money laundering and improper consumer protection will not end. 

According to research from trade body BOS, the market’s channelization rate is at 77% against the unofficial target of 90%

For online casino gambling, the figure falls to 72%

Skarplöth emphasized that his efforts to secure the financing of the horseracing industry are joined by his ongoing fight against unlicensed operators.

In mid-March, ATG expressed concern regarding the ongoing decline of Swedish channelization while calling unlicensed companies the greatest challenge for the country’s legal gambling market. 

At the start of the same month, Sweden’s gambling regulator posted data regarding the performance of the regulated gambling industry in 2023. 

Preliminary results showed relatively stable metrics compared to 2022’s total turnover, marking a 1% drop compared to the previous year.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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