Casino without Swedish license

Anders Larsson

“Casino without Swedish license” is a popular search query in Sweden. Many non-Swedish speakers are looking for info about it, too. That’s why we’ve created this guide in English so that you can get all the necessary details.

Below, we’ll cover the advantages and disadvantages of playing at casinos with licenses other than those supplied by the Swedish Gambling Authority (“Spelinspektionen”). We’ll also discuss how to play at casinos without “Spelpaus” – meaning “game pause”, the equivalent of the UK’s GamStop.

In short, this is your one-stop shop for everything related to playing at online casinos without a Swedish license.

Casinos without Swedish license

What is a casino without a Swedish license?

Starting with the basics, a casino without a Swedish license (”casino utan svensk licens”) is exactly what it says it is. It’s an online casino for players based in Sweden (or further afield) that does not have a license from the Swedish Gambling Authority. But that doesn’t mean the casino is unlicensed – and we would never advise playing at an unlicensed casino! Instead, we’re talking about online casinos with licenses from other regulators such as the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority or the Government of Curacao (to name but a few examples). And there are several reasons why players living in Sweden might want to go down this route. We’ll get into those in a bit.

Another key thing that casinos without a Swedish license have in common is the lack of “game break” or “game pause” software. So, essentially, we’re talking about online casinos that aren’t signed up to the Swedish version of GamStop. So, what is “Spelpaus” (the Swedish GamStop)? Well, the technology is designed to give players control over their gambling. However, it’s particularly restrictive in several areas that we’ll go over below. And players at casinos without a Swedish license prefer the freedom of choosing exactly how they want to gamble online. For example, players often don’t want the option of self-excluding – banning themselves from accessing online casinos – for obvious reasons. Of course, we’ll cover all this and more below.

Why has this phenomenon become so popular?

So, how did this situation come about? Well, there were some big changes in recent years that led to the split in Swedish online casino options. So, players began searching for non-Swedish licensed casinos because of the law changes at the tail end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. The law changes forced Swedish-language sites to obtain a license from Spelinspektionen – the Swedish Gambling Authority. This also meant signing up with Spelpaus – the Swedish version of GamStop. Not only was the new license expensive, but it also meant that licensed casinos in Sweden needed to pay an 18% gambling tax – and there are many other restrictions, too.

However, the upshot of all this was that several online casinos decided to not get the Swedish license. Instead, a number of casinos based outside of Sweden switched their site language from Swedish to English. This had a number of benefits for the casinos and the players. For the casinos, they could market their casino bonuses and games more freely – as well as avoid the relatively expensive Swedish license. And the players could avoid being forced into using the “game break” software and slower gameplay such as the three-seconds-between-spins rule.

Casino without Spelpaus

What you need to know about Spelpaus

As mentioned above, Spelpaus is the Swedish equivalent of GamStop in the UK. Roughly translating to “game break” or “game pause”, Spelpaus is also a legal requirement for all online casinos licensed by the Swedish Gambling Authority. And, by extension, casinos without a Swedish license are not part of the Spelpaus network. So, depending on what type of player you are, you may find that Spelpaus is either an advantage or a disadvantage. But that’s the real beauty of the current Swedish gambling market – players get to decide what suits them best!

So, what does Spelpaus actually do? Well, essentially, it offers players a way to block themselves from all licensed Swedish casinos in one fell swoop. This form of self-exclusion can be set for a certain length of time – known as a “cooling-off period”. Therefore, players have the option of self-excluding from all Spelinspektionen-licensed casinos for either one, three or six months. Or they can choose to set an indefinite time period. In that case, the player can choose to log back in after 12 months, and then decide to end the self-exclusion or let it continue as is.

The other functions of Spelpaus are tools for gaming limits, spending limits and online tests. With the former options, you can limit how much time you spend on gambling, or how much you can deposit over, say, one month. And the online tests are tools provided in a survey form that enables you to see if you have any cause for concern over gambling addiction. Similar tools exist at foreign casinos, too, of course. Although, in the case of the UK, for example, these tools are often provided directly by online casinos – with GamStop operating as a last resort.

Facts and figures about Spelpaus

The Swedish Gambling Inspectorate (AKA, Spelinspektionen) oversees the implementation of Spelpaus at the casinos it licenses. As a result, the regulatory authority has access to a broad set of data about player spending, the demographics of people using Spelpaus and information related to gambling addiction. For example, it was revealed that an astonishing 85% of the Swedish adult population is aware of the Spelpaus services. And, up until February 2023, 88,879 Swedish people had used the Spelpaus tool in order to stop playing at online casinos.

We can also use the released data to see which demographics use the Spelpaus technology. For example, of the 79,812 people mentioned above, 75% were male and 25% were female. We also know the distribution of self-exclusion times. Around 8% of those using the game break tools chose a self-suspension period of one month. A further 11% chose three months, 13% chose six months and 68% opted for self-exclusion until further notice. Finally, according to the Swedish public health authority, we know that around 45,000 Swedes have a gambling problem.

How does Spelpaus work?

Since Spelpaus was launched on 1 January 2019, Swedish players now have the opportunity to log into the site and choose from a range of self-exclusion options. We’ve detailed all of the required steps below. Just note that you’ll need a form of digital ID for the service to operate.

  1. Head to Spelpaus.se and start the process by following the onscreen instructions.
  2. First, select your self-suspension period from the following options: “1 month”, “3 months”, “6 months” or “Until further notice (at least 12 months)”.
  3. Tick the box to agree to the following statement: “I confirm that I want to suspend myself from ALL gambling at ALL gambling companies that have a license in Sweden”.
  4. Register by choosing your personal BankID or Freja eID, Telia eID or a foreign eID.
  5. Follow the instructions to log in with your ID and confirm your suspension from licensed Swedish casinos. Note: for foreign online casinos, you’ll have to manually block yourself.

What alternatives are there to Spelpaus?

For casinos with a Swedish license, your only game pause option is Spelpaus. However, as we mentioned above, there are similar services available for foreign casinos. Below we’ve listed a few of the best ones to consider depending on where you are based and which license the online casino holds. This is by no means a definitive list but it should put you on the right path to finding a version of Spelpaus that suits your needs at foreign casino sites:

Alternatively, you can often block gambling payments from within your payment provider app. For example, there is the option to block gambling payments from within the PayPal, Revolut and Mondo apps, as well as some of the most popular eWallets like Skrill and Neteller. Apple Pay and Google Pay also have these services. Finally, you can find third-party self-exclusion apps for iOS and Android devices in the respective Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Why is it a good idea to use self-exclusion?

While many players can happily take it or leave it – such as only occasionally playing slots – a small minority struggle to control their gambling. So, if you feel that you’re spending too much time and/or money on gambling, self-exclusion can be a good idea. And it’s worth pointing out that self-exclusion doesn’t have to be a permanent choice. You could easily decide to take a break for one, three or six months. And even if you opt for a 12-month manual suspension, you can regain access to your favourite online casino after that time should you wish. Nevertheless, self-exclusion makes sense if you’re experiencing any problems with your gambling activities.

Is it possible to play at casinos without Spelpaus?

All Swedish players have the choice of playing at Swedish-licensed and non-Swedish-licensed online casinos. However, if you decide to play at a casino licensed by the Swedish Gambling Inspectorate (Spelinspektionen) then that site will be included in the Spelpaus network. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to enable any of the features offered by the game pause technology. It can just be kept out of sight in the background and called upon if you ever want to use it. Casinos based outside of Sweden are not included in the Spelpaus network. So, you can choose to play at a foreign casino without Spelpaus. To put it another way, if you do want to play with Spelpaus as an option, you will have to choose a casino licensed by Spelinspektionen.

In a word, yes. It is perfectly legal for any Swedish player over the age of 18 to play at any online casino that will accept them. The laws referred to above regarding licenses from the Swedish Gambling Authority only apply to online casinos – not the players. The only restriction you might find is that some foreign casinos do not accept Swedish players. If that’s the case, there is no point trying to get around the issue using VPNs and other software because you won’t be able to withdraw any winnings! And, usually, you’ll be informed that the online casino does not accept players from your region as soon as you load the site or try to register.

If you find a casino that doesn’t accept Swedish players, we simply advise shopping around for an alternative casino site that does accept Swedish players. There are a mindboggling number of top foreign casinos that accept Swedish players, so you won’t be looking for too long. Plus, you can find plenty of fantastic foreign casinos listed right here at CUSL. For example, check out iWildCasino, Tsars Casino, Moi Casino, Rant Casino and Hey Casino. There are so many options! And some top casino bonuses are available, too – see below for more on those.

What’s the difference between a casino without license and a casino without Swedish license?

We must make it clear that we only recommend playing at casinos with a Swedish license or one of the licenses from other countries. We absolutely do not recommend playing at online casinos without any form of license. Doing so is just asking for trouble – and to probably be ripped off in various ways. So, the main difference between foreign casinos with a license and those without any license is that the former are regulated and the latter can do whatever they want (within reason). So, for example, if you feel you’ve been mistreated by an online casino with a foreign license, you can appeal to that organisation for help resolving the matter. But if something goes wrong at an unlicensed online casino, then you’re pretty much on your own.

Casino without Swedish license bonus

Bonuses at casinos without Swedish license

There are plenty of casino bonuses available to Swedish players. Below, we’ll cover all of the best bonuses at casinos without a Swedish license – i.e., licensed foreign casino sites. This will include no deposit bonuses available when you first sign up at an online casino to the often lucrative welcome bonus package and beyond. We’ll also look at high-roller bonuses such as casino cashback, VIP bonuses and top loyalty programs for players who like to stick with one brand. Here are the many different types of casino bonuses you can start claiming today:

Welcome bonus

This is the main bonus to attract new players to casinos without a Swedish license. Plus, foreign casinos tend to have larger welcome bonuses than Swedish casinos. Some welcome bonuses are one-time offers, while others give you between three and five separate deposit bonuses. Plus, on top of a match deposit bonus worth hundreds of Krona, you get some free spins for top slots. Always check out the bonus wagering requirements and minimum deposit amount before signing up. Note, also, that you might need to enter a bonus code to claim your welcome bonus.

Free spins bonus

As mentioned, it’s more than likely that you’ll receive free spins for popular slot games as part of your welcome bonus. These will often be given out in one go – or you’ll get a few free spins each day as you start playing at a new online casino. But the fun doesn’t end there. Many casinos without a Swedish license have weekly free spins giveaways or when celebrating the release of a new online slot game. Sign up for email and SMS notifications to be the first in line for even more free spin promotions.

No deposit bonus

A no deposit bonus is exactly what it sounds like. You get a casino bonus without having to make a deposit. Therefore, this one usually arrives before you claim your welcome bonus. In this way, you get to try out a casino without a Swedish license without risking any of your own money. Although you won’t get as much in the way of bonus funds or free spins compared to a welcome bonus, it’s still worth picking up when signing up at a casino. Just note that you may need to register a card and wagering requirements will apply.

Bonus without wagering requirements

This one usually requires a minimum deposit to activate but has one key advantage over other casino bonuses. That’s right, you won’t have to complete any wagering requirements in order to withdraw your winnings. Therefore, you might see these listed as wager-free spins or wager-free bonuses. Either way, knowing that what you win can instantly be withdrawn is a hell of a deal. However, you won’t find many of these out in the wild, so take advantage of any bonuses without wagering requirements whenever you see them offered at foreign casinos.

Cashback bonus

High rollers are usually too concerned about low-value free spins. After all, they are likely to be depositing significant amounts of money. Instead, then, high rollers and VIPs tend to look for great cashback bonus deals. These act as an insurance policy of kinds. You see, they’re based on net losses over a given period of time. So, if lady luck isn’t smiling that particular week, cashback deals will give you some additional bonus funds. And if you happen to win that week, then no worries, because you’ve already made a profit!

Reload bonus

Many online casinos without a Swedish license advertise reload bonuses. These can be claimed fairly frequently – on, say, a certain day of each week, for example. Essentially, they are deposit bonuses. So, if you deposit above the minimum amount required on that day, you can bag some free spins and/or bonus funds. Therefore, it’s worth signing up for marketing emails to let you know when they pop up. And, of course, if you get into a good routine, you can time your deposits to always get a casino reload bonus on top.

VIP and loyalty bonus

If you play regularly enough at a particular casino without a Swedish license, you will be recognised by the VIP manager. If that’s the case, they will invite you to receive more lucrative bonuses and free spins packages. The alternative to this is the loyalty program. In that case, everyone gets the chance to earn loyalty points for making deposits and playing casino games. These points can then usually be exchanged for casino bonuses, free spins and sometimes even physical items – even a brand-new iPhone, in some cases! So, it certainly pays to be loyal to one online casino.

Are casinos without Swedish license tax-free?

For Swedish players at casinos without a Swedish license, you generally do not have to pay taxes on your winnings. However, this is only the case when the casino is based in the EU, has an EU license such as the one from the Malta Gaming Authority and the site is not aimed at the Swedish market – i.e., the casino site is in English rather than Swedish. In addition, if you play at a casino with a Swedish license, then you do not have to pay any tax on your winnings. There are two caveats to this. First, the profit must come from a casino with a Swedish license, and second, the game itself must not require a license as defined by the Swedish Gaming Act.

On the flip side of this, licensed Swedish casinos do have to pay an 18% gambling tax on their profits – but not the players. However, because of this rather high tax, you might find that this tax is offset by poorer bonuses compared to foreign casinos based in the EU. Furthermore, if you live in Sweden and you decide to play at a casino licensed outside of the EU, then you will have to pay a 30% capital income tax on your profits. So, for example, if you decide to play at a casino licensed by the Government of Curacao and you make a profit of 1,000 SEK, then you will need to pay a 30% tax on that amount. This equates to 300 SEK in taxes, which is a lot!

Different gambling licenses

There are many different gambling licenses around the world. Most of the relevant ones here are based in the EU, but some are further afield. Each of these has different rules that mainly apply to the casino in question. However, as the criteria for obtaining these licenses differ from one to the next, it’s worth considering the licenses as a player too. For example, some of them are much easier to obtain and provide less protection for players. Whereas other licenses are super protective of players but don’t necessarily cover players outside of the main jurisdiction. So, let’s take a quick look at each of the main licenses that apply to Swedish casino players.

MGA

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) offers one of the most popular casino licenses in the world. It provides a good mix of casino safeguards, advertising rules and player protection. Therefore, most of the EU casinos without a Swedish license operate under the Malta Gaming Authority.

Curacao

The Government of Curacao in the Dutch Antilles provides a worldwide online casino license. And while things have certainly improved over the years, the license provided by Curacao eGaming Authority is considered to be one of the worst for player protection. It’s incredibly cheap and the barriers to entry are low. Therefore, there are many Curacao casinos available.

UKGC

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is widely regarded as one of the strictest licensing authorities in the world with huge fines for any rule breaches. That’s good news for players – you’ll be safe and secure at UKGC casinos. However, the UKGC license only covers players living in the UK.

Note: Since 31 January 2020, the UK is no longer part of the EU, so your winnings will be taxed!

Gibraltar

The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) is based in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. Therefore, it’s similar to the UKGC license but with the added benefit of covering many countries around the world. The GRA license is quite rare but its name carries weight with casino players.

Estonia

More and more EU-based online casinos are signing up for the remote gambling license provided by Estonia. While the license fees are low, the checks and balances in place are up there with the best of them. So, the Estonia license is well worth considering as a player.

Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is located between England and Northern Ireland and is home to Microgaming, Playtech and other gambling companies. Therefore, many game providers (and a few online casinos) use the Isle of Man license provided by the Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC).

Alderney

Based in the English Channel Islands, the license provided by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) is mainly for game providers. However, the reputable AGCC license does extend to some online casinos, too. However, it’s nowhere near as popular as the MGA and UKGC.

Pros and cons of casinos without Swedish license

While we’ve covered these points in more detail throughout this guide, we wanted to collect all of the main pros and cons in one place. So, below, we’ve listed the main advantages and disadvantages of playing at casinos without a Swedish license. Here’s the overview:

Fördelar

  • Plenty of bigger and better bonuses at foreign casinos
  • Fewer KYC verification restrictions at non-Swedish sites
  • Larger selection of casino games and game providers
  • You don’t have to wait three seconds between spins

Nackdelar

  • Harder to find BankID casinos using Trustly and Zimpler
  • You will have to use an alternative to Sweden’s "Spelpaus"
  • Casino sites and support will be in English not Swedish
  • Gambling tax of 30% applies to casinos outside the EU

Casino without Swedish license payments

Visa and MasterCard (pay by card)

By far the simplest way to make casino deposits is to use your Visa or MasterCard. Most players already have these available as either debit or credit cards. However, using your regular bank cards is not the safest way to make online payments so exercise caution with this method.

Note that withdrawal times can be up to 24 hours when withdrawing back to your card.

PayPal

The PayPal eWallet is super popular with online casino players. It’s much safer than debit and credit cards, too. Plus, the built-in two-factor authentication for online payments helps keep your money safe. In addition, you’ll find PayPal available at the majority of non-Swedish online casinos.

After the casino processes your PayPal withdrawal, you will have your money almost instantly.

Paysafecard

If you want a prepaid card for casino deposits, look no further than Paysafecard. These online vouchers and prepaid cards can be found at plenty of Swedish retailers all across the country. From there, it’s a doddle to enter the Paysafecard code at casinos without a Swedish license.

As Paysafecard is a prepaid method, it cannot be used for online casino withdrawals.

Neosurf

An alternative prepaid card option is Neosurf. This anonymous and secure payments solution provides you with a PIN number over email – this can then be used to authorise payments into your casino account. Just note that you can only buy credit in blocks of €15, €30, €50 or €100.

Neosurf withdrawals take, on average, around 45 minutes to appear on your account.

Skrill

Skrill used to be on par with PayPal as a go-to eWallet for Swedish players. However, Skrill has blocked Swedish payments at foreign online casinos. That means you can only use it at a handful of casinos licensed to operate in Sweden. Therefore, we recommend looking elsewhere.

Note that Skrill cannot be used for withdrawals from casinos without a Swedish license.

Neteller

Neteller is similar to Skrill (in fact, both companies are owned by the Paysafe Group). And just like Skrill, the Neteller eWallet cannot be used by Swedish players at foreign casinos. This is a shame because it use to be a super secure payment option for deposits at non-Swedish casinos.

Like Skrill, Neteller cannot be used as a withdrawal method at non-Swedish casinos.

Crypto

More and more online casino players are turning to Bitcoin, Ethereum and various altcoins for anonymous casino deposits and withdrawals. However, only casinos licensed by the Government of Curacao offer this at the moment. Therefore, crypto is a rather niche payment option.

Depending on network bandwidth, most crypto casino withdrawals take up to 1 hour.

Apple Pay and Google Pay

Both Apple Pay and Google Pay enable casino players to make card payments via encrypted connections using their iOS, Mac and Android devices. The payment methods are secured with Face ID, Touch ID and the Android equivalent, too. That makes them a safe casino deposit method.

One downside of Apple Pay and Google Pay is that they cannot be used for casino withdrawals.

Pay by phone

For those making relatively small casino deposits, pay-by-phone options such as those offered by Siru Mobile, are becoming more and more popular. Pay by phone enables players to deposit using their mobile phone credit or to pay at the end of the month via their regular phone bill.

Pay by phone can only be used for casino deposits – withdrawals are, therefore, impossible.

Pay by invoice

Similar to pay by phone, pay by invoice is another great option to deposit at a casino now and pay later. For example, check out the services offered by Paylevo. However, it’s worth noting that pay-by-invoice services like Klarna and Zimpler now block payments made by Swedish players at foreign casinos.

Pay by invoice is not an option for casino withdrawals, so you’ll need an alternative method.

Pay N Play at casinos without Swedish license

Many casino players have heard of the Pay N Play service. It enables Swedish players to use their BankID to quickly and easily make online casino deposits without registering a casino account. However, at the time of writing, it is not possible to use Pay N Play at casinos without a Swedish license. That’s largely because Pay N Play is a trademark of the Trustly payment method. But, as we mentioned above, Trustly has blocked Swedish players from making payments to casinos without a Swedish license. That’s why it’s only available at Swedish casinos. So, if you want to play at a so-called no-account casino that accepts Pay N Play deposits, then it will have to be one licensed in Sweden. There’s no way around this restriction.

New casinos without Swedish license 2024

Because of how restrictive the Swedish online gambling license is, casinos without a Swedish license have spread like wildfire. Therefore, we regularly see new casinos without a Swedish license popping up in most weeks of the year. And because we’re dedicated to finding the best online casinos for our readers, you’ll find plenty of recommended new online casinos on our site. And, as new Swedish casinos without a license need to stand out from the crowd, you can often find some of the best bonuses available at newly launched sites. So, watch this space!

How to find the best casinos without Swedish license

If you’re convinced that a non-Swedish license casino is for you, we have several tips for finding the one that suits you best. After all, it’s not just about getting the biggest casino bonus possible. There are lots of other things to consider. So, consider our list below, read the casino reviews on this site and then try out the casino sites for yourself with free spins and no deposit bonuses:

Casino Without Swedish License – Summary

There you have it. You should now have all of the information you need to make an informed decision about casinos without a Swedish license. We’ve shown you the pros and cons of non-Swedish casinos, discussed the bonuses and given you some top tips for finding your perfect online casino. We’ve also gone into some detail about the best non-Swedish licenses out there. And if you’re still in doubt, have a look at our frequently asked questions below.

FAQ: about casinos without Swedish license

Is it legal to play at a casino without Swedish license?

Yes, all Swedish players have the choice of playing at any online casino. This can be one licensed in Sweden or one licensed outside of Sweden.

How do I know if a casino has a Swedish license or not?

We always give this info in our reviews but, to double-check, head to the footer area of the casino’s homepage. You find licensing information there.

Which licenses do casinos without Swedish license typically have?

Casinos licensed outside of Sweden tend to go with an alternative option. These include the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority and more.

Can I still self-exclude at casinos without Spelpaus?

Spelpaus (or “game break”) only exists at Swedish-licensed casinos. However, alternatives such as GamStop, Gamban, Gamblock and BetBlocker can be found online.

Is it safe to play at casinos without Swedish license?

While playing at unlicensed casinos is not at all advisable, casino sites licensed by other EU authorities like the MGA are perfectly safe for Swedish players.

Which payment methods do casinos without Swedish license offer?

There are many payment methods available. For example, you can usually find debit and credit cards, PayPal, Paysafecard, Neosurf, Siru Mobile, Paylevo and more.

Anders Larsson
Anders Larsson
iGaming specialist
93 Artiklar
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Anders har under många år arbetat som skribent inom iGamingbranschen, vilket gör att han besitter oöverträffliga kunskaper inom området. Han har i hela 15 år arbetat som skribent på flera stora företag, däribland ett par av de största svenska spelbolagen.

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