Swedish Gambling Authorities Met all License Holders in Sweden
Posted in Industry October 11, 2019

Swedish Gambling Authorities Met all License Holders in Sweden

The Swedish Gaming Regulator Spelinspektionen held a meeting with every license holder in the country on Tuesday, September 17. The meeting, which involved representatives from various authorities like the Gaming Inspectorate, Swedish Tax Agency, Swedish Consumer Agency, and Financial Police, was aimed at discussing regulation within the state. Tense relationships between Swedish authorities and operators have persisted since the regulated market opened on January 1. Items discussed during the meeting included match-fixing, money laundering, and responsible gambling.

The head of the Swedish trade association for online gambling, Gustaf Hoffstedt, expressed satisfaction with how the meeting unfolded. He was pleased that the SGA listened to operators’ issues but noted that the regulators did not explain why regulations were stricter for licensed operators compared to unlicensed ones. Hoffstedt, however, expressed optimism since the SGA promised to focus more on protecting channelization in the future.

The Background

In April, the Swedish Gambling Authority issued warnings to several operators for betting on a Swedish football match featuring players under the age of 18. In July, the regulators fined eight gambling operators for betting on underage events, prompting operator association BOS to request an urgent meeting with the SGA. However, the request was not granted, and four more operators were fined in August. The Swedish regulator later claimed that the fined operators were not accustomed to the strict regulatory enforcement.

Robin Olenius, the communication manager for Betsson Group Sweden, applauded the efforts of authorities in holding the meeting but felt that channels of communication were not adequately addressed. He noted that increased dialogue and information exchange are beneficial to the authorities as well as operators.

Responsible Gambling

During the meeting, Spelinspektionen revealed that a lot of individuals who chose to self-exclude via the Spelpausen national self-exclusion scheme did so for an indefinite period. The majority of self-excluded individuals are men, but the number of women using Spelpausen services is growing. By the end of 2019, the figure could reach 10,000.

Many gambling operators who were active before the latest regulations came into effect (January 1) have reported significant revenue impact from the 18% Swedish gambling tax. The operators have paid over 2 billion in SEK from January to July this year.

What Was the Outcome?

The event was well-attended, which shows the industry’s eagerness to learn more and cooperate. Though the general reaction to the meeting was positive, there were still unanswered questions and areas that require further clarification. One of such areas is how the Spelinspektionen intends to maintain and increase channelization, which is critical to achieving customer protection.

The head of communications for the SGA, Anders Sims, acknowledged the importance of channelization to operators and promised to maintain ongoing dialogues to clarify regulations.

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Licenses, Spelinspektionen, Swedish Gambling Authority


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