Currency: Swedish Krona (SKR)
Casinos with Poker
- Casino Cosmopol Stockholm
- Casino Cosmopol Malmo
- Casino Cosmopol Goteborg
- Casino Cosmopol Sundsvall
Sweden, generally speaking, is not a gambling loving country. There are currently only 4 (!) land casinos operating in Sweden, all owned by the same company. However, you can find slot machines or even blackjack in many bars across the country, although they are rarely played.
Even though poker and gambling in general are not in the mainstream Swedish culture, there have been multiple Swedish people achieving great success at the poker table – see more below. Also, one of the biggest online gambling brands, Unibet is a subsidiary of the Kindred Group. Although that company is registered in Malta now, it was founded by a Swedish man, Anders Ström in Stockholm, back in 1997. Kindred still has major offices in the Swedish capital and their stocks are traded on the Stockholm Stock Exchange (Nasdaq).
Famous Swedish Poker Players
In 2014, the most prestigious poker tournament each year, the WSOP Main Event was won by a Swedish man. Martin Jacobson bested a 6,683-player field and won $10 million along with his first and only World Series gold bracelet.
One of the biggest legends of all time in online poker is Viktor “Isildur1” Blom. He was only a teenager when he started playing the highest stakes on Full Tilt while hundreds watched the then mysterious and unknown newcomer from the rail. Famously, he beat Tom “durrrr” Dwan out of around $4 million in an online heads-up challenge in 2009. Then, he lost around $4.2 million to Brian “Stinger88” Hastings in a very similar challenge, playing heads-up PLO. That match-up is still controversial to this day since, as it turned out, Hasting had received hand histories from his friends on Isildur prior to their duel.
– Playing Live Poker in Sweden –
Live Poker Legislation in Sweden
It is legal to host games of chance in Sweden as long as you have a license from the Swedish Gambling Authority. That being said, only 4 land casinos are currently operating in the country and they are all owned by Casino Cosmopol, a state-run company. The legal gambling age is 18.
Live Poker Venues in Sweden
Those 4 casinos are in 4 different cities and they all bare the name Cosmopol. All four of them have poker rooms.
In the capital city, in Casino Cosmopol Stockholm they have three game types at their cash tables: Hold’em, Omaha and 7-Card Stud. The stakes range from SKR10/10 ($1.05/$1.05) up to SKR200/200 ($20.99/$20.99). Interestingly, in all of their cash games, the two blinds are the same amount. As for tournaments, they usually have one each day, starting at 6 pm. They are all “Texas NL” events. They buy-ins range from SKR400 ($42) to SKR3,000 ($315).
In Casino Cosmopol Malmo’s poker room, the selection is pretty much the same, except the highest NLHE cash games are SK100/100. They also host one tournament per day, only the buy-ins are lower. You can buy a seat for as low as SKR250 here, while the biggest tourney this week is a SKR1,200 event.
The other two Cosmopol casinos are in Goteborg and Sundsvall. The Goteborg has the biggest tournament on their schedule out of the 4 as of now, the buy-in is SKR5,600 ($588.6).
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Sweden –
Casino Cosmopol Stockholm
Casino Cosmopol Malmo
Casino Cosmopol Göteborg
Casino Cosmopol Sundsvall
Online Poker Legislation in Sweden
For a long time, only the state-owned Svenska Spel was allowed to offer online gambling services to Swedish residents. This changed with the Swedish Gambling Act of 2018 which allowed foreign gambling sites to operate in the country as well. The new bill was passed after pressure came from the EU to end the discriminative legal environment.
Svenska Spel is still in operation with usually a couple hundred players playing poker on their servers at any given time. The new law evidently hurt their bottom line, they reported a 6% decrease in revenue in the first quarter after the Gambling Act of 2018 came into effect.
Now all the biggest online poker rooms are also available for Swedish players to access. These include PokerStars, partypoker and 888 Poker.