Svenska Spel criticises match-fixing regulation proposal

The Swedish company Svenska Spel discussed the proposal for match-fixing regulation and Sweden and said that it lacks basic protection.

Sweden.- Spelinspektionen, the gambling regulator from Sweden, has come up with a proposal for match-fixing regulations. Svenska Spel reviewed the initiative and said that it lacks basic measures to protect sports, counteract gambling fraud and strengthen consumer protection.

The expectations on Spelinspektionen to work with new regulations on match-fixing have been high. Recently, it presented its proposal, which according to Svenska Spel, it features large gaps. “The proposal provides apparent protection, but will in practice have a very limited effect. We therefore propose a tightening of the regulations and hope that Spelinspektionen will take our views into consideration,” said Patrik Hofbauer, President and CEO of Svenska Spel.

“Much sharper action is needed if we are to win the fight against match-fixing. One step is to ban all easily manipulated gaming objects,” said Hofbauer.

Spelinspektionen proposes, among other things, a ban on betting on the penalty of wrongdoing, rule-breaking or provocative behaviour, such as betting on yellow and red cards, which Svenska Spel has long advocated. However, according to Svenska Spel, the proposal is insufficient as bets on corners and throws are proposed to be allowed.

“Bets on corners and throw-ins are at least as easy to manipulate, so the logic of this boundary is difficult to see. Instead, we think that all easily manipulated game objects should be banned,” said the CEO.

The local regulator also proposed that the ban should only apply when the sport is practised in Sweden. But if the sport is practised outside the country’s borders, the ban shall not apply. This means that Swedish athletes, who with the proposal want to protect within Sweden’s borders, are not subject to the restriction of the range of games if they compete internationally.

Spelinspektionen justifies the proposal by saying that there is a fear that the regulations will fail, as companies could end up giving up their Swedish licences. Hofbauer says that channelling is important, but it isn’t the core issue.

“The channelling cannot be put against the integrity of the sport, the gambling industry’s responsibility for safe games or the right of consumers to feel confident that the games offered are safe. The fear of a sinking channel must be dealt with in a different way, not by compromising consumer protection and privacy issues,” the CEO said.

In addition, Svenska Spel believes that Sweden should immediately join the Council of Europe Convention against Match Fixing, the so-called Macoline Convention, which has already been signed by 27 countries. An overarching principle here is that sports should be involved in assessing what are appropriate game objects.

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