Amusement games

Amusement games are mechanical or electronic gaming machines which do not give any prizes, or prizes only in the form of additional free games on the machine.

The machines require permits as soon as they are placed in a local or a place where access is granted to everyone. Permits are required if even the machines are turned off.Who may be granted a permit?

It is the person who arranges the machine gaming who needs to apply for a permit. It is almost always the person who owns or rents the local where the machine is placed.

The person who applies needs to conduct his business in a way which does not create an environment which is unsuitable for children.

Permits are not granted for:

  • Gaming machines where the possibility of winning is principally random (hazard games), e.g. poker, 21 and lyckohjulet (wheel of fortune).
  • Machines which are used for gambling for money, e.g. slot machines and poker games.
  • Games which are specifically constructed for gambling for money, e.g. machines with a payment mechanism, an unusually short game time or high point totals.

Amusement Games, documents

General information regarding the issuing of permits

The act on arrangements for certain gaming machines (1982:636) regulates games on mechanical or electronic gaming machines which do not provide prizes or which only provide prizes in the form of granting free games on the machine. These are known as so-called “amusement games”.

Permits are required for amusement games when they are placed in locations or areas to which the general public has access. Permits are also required for locations or areas to which the public has been granted a limited access by requiring, for example, an invitation or membership of a certain association, provided that the amount of people with access to the location or area reaches a certain level or if the terms which have been specified in connection to the invitation or membership are so vague that the conditions may be compared to areas which are accessible to the general public.  

Examples of amusement games

Amusement games are mechanical or electronic gaming machines which do not provide prizes or which only provide prizes in the form of granting free additional games on the machine. Examples of amusement games are pinball, shooter games, target games and video games.

Games which are denied permits

Permits are denied for gaming machines which are specifically intended for use as hazard games, so-called “risk games” (e.g. poker, 21 and bagatelle) or for machines which are specifically intended for gambling for money such as fruit machine (slots) or poker slot machines (video poker). Nor may machines receive permits if they are specifically designed to generate money; the game is equipped with a payment mechanism or an unusually short game time. Additional examples of games which are denied permits are games that, as a consequence of their violent content, may create an unsuitable environment for children.