A Look at Gambling in Various Scandinavian Countries

A Look at Gambling in Various Scandinavian Countries

Gambling has been around since the oldest human civilizations. Throughout history, it has endured through regulations, illegalization, and acceptance. And while there are still countries trying to ban gambling in some way, the hobby endures among those that enjoy it.

Scandinavians, for example, certainly do enjoy gambling. Each of the countries that make up the Scandinavian Peninsula have built up a vibrant and exciting gambling subculture, even in those places where gambling is not legal.

In this article, we would like to explore the gambling laws and traditions in the different Nordic countries. We will talk about laws, regulations, popular games, and more. Without further ado, let us get into the meat and potatoes of this article, and discuss gambling in various Scandinavian countries.


When we are talking about safe, legal gambling, whether online or offline, very few countries come close to Denmark. The Danes have really managed to build a safe and entertaining gambling industry, which continues to thrive as the years pass by.

From a legal perspective, both online and land-based casinos are legal. Not only that, but there are some excellent regulations, which ensure that the establishment is safe and fair. In other words, Denmark is one of the best places to be if you are a gambler.

However, the Danish online gambling industry is thriving. In the past year, revenue rose by a staggering 7.9% when it comes to gambling in Denmark. Which means that, it isn’t just the fans thriving, but also the casino owners.

  • Favorite Games

Denmark is not much different from the rest of the world when it comes to favorite games. Usually, Danish players will focus on slots. Online slots like Sweet Bonanza are especially popular. However, land-based machines also get their fair share of customers.

Other notable games in Denmark include poker and blackjack. If you are interested in roulette, you will certainly find an online casino that features the game, and you might even be able to find some land-based gambling halls where you can spin the wheel.


For a change of pace we go to Norway, where land-based gambling is absolutely illegal. Casinos do not operate in the country, and it is difficult, if not impossible, for Norwegian citizens to find a land-based poker room, blackjack table, or slot machine hall.

Unfortunately, if you are looking to get the suit-and-tie, cigarette-smoking casino experience, Norway is not the place to go. However, that does not mean that gambling is prohibited in all of its forms in Norway.

There is no Norwegian law that deals with online gambling. Which means, Norway’s citizens are free to create an account and sign up for an online casino, if they so wish. There, they can play any of the classic games, like slots, poker, blackjack, and much more. However, if online isn’t your thing, you can still gamble through the proper and legal land-based means.

Norway has two companies that provide gambling services to their citizens. Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping. These government-owned companies provide keno, lotto, and sports betting services, and are the only gambling companies legally operating in Norway.

  • Favorite Games

The favorite games to gamble on in Norway are the lottery and keno, as they are the only two available through Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping. Norwegians also love to bet on sports as well. It is difficult to ascertain the games they play online, as these websites operate outside of Norway.


We are back on track with Sweden, where gambling is completely legal. Swedish gamblers can enter charitable, non-profit gambling tournaments, visit slot machine halls, or play their favorite games at state-owned companies.

It doesn’t end there. The Swedish government has allowed offshore operators to enter the Swedish gaming market. Meaning, those of you who would prefer to gamble from home can do so. All you really need to do is set up an account at an online casino, and start playing your favorite games.

Naturally, there are some rather tight regulations and restrictions on the industry. For example, you have to be over 18 to enter a physical casino. Of course, you also must be 18 to play online as well. These restrictions exist to promote responsible gambling, and decrease the risk of addiction.

  • Favorite Games

The most popular games in Swedish casinos are the usual suspects. Slots, which dominates the online and land-based gambling world, is of course incredibly popular in Sweden. Blackjack is another top contender. Of course, poker rooms get quite a bit of activity and traffic as well.


The final country we are taking a look at is Finland. And much like Sweden and Denmark, Finland has a vibrant, exciting, and most importantly, legal gambling culture. The history of gambling in Finland is quite a fascinating story. However, we have no time to delve into it now. We will say, that the practice has been legal in the country since 1917.

Fans of online casinos will be happy to learn that iGaming is also legal in Finland. However, there is a major catch. According to Finnish law, Finland’s citizens are only allowed to gamble in Finnish online casinos. In other words, the law is the exact opposite of Norway’s. Offshore casinos are prohibited, and Finnish-based online gambling sites are perfectly legal.

Another important thing to note is that online gambling winnings are not taxed in Finland. However, gamblers must still provide thorough information regarding their winnings when they are doing their taxes.

  • Favorite Games

There is no denying that the most popular game in Finland is slots. Finns love spinning slots, whether they be online or land-based. In fact, Finland is one of the countries where online slots are most popular and beloved. Other than slots, Finnish people also enjoy roulette, baccarat, craps, blackjack, and poker.

Final Thoughts

Scandinavian countries seem to have a vibrant gambling culture. Apart from Norway, gambling is legal in all of Scandinavia. Whether you want to go out to the casino with friends, or spend some time online by yourself, the options are all there.

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Author: Ludvig
Ludvig is the owner and driving force behind Scandinavia.life. A native Norwegian with ties to Denmark, Sweden and Finland, he is the perfect guy to guide you through the delights of Scandinavia.