ATG CEO calls for “credit break” self-exclusion tool

The tool would allow consumers to block themselves from applying for quick loans.
The tool would allow consumers to block themselves from applying for quick loans.

The CEO of Swedish horse racing betting operator said a “Creditpaus” tool would protect at-risk customers from borrowing to gamble.

Sweden.- Hasse Lord Skarplöth, chief executive of horse racing betting operator AB Trav och Galopp (ATG), has called on legislators to create a “credit break” self-exclusion tool.

He is calling for a “Creditpaus” initiative to expand on the work of Sweden’s self-exclusion tool, Spelpaus. The tool would allow consumers to block themselves from applying for quick and easy high-interest loans.

Skarplöth said such a tool would protect at-risk consumers from using borrowed money to gamble.

He warned that customers seeking easy credit could quickly borrow large amounts online, noting that figures from the Swedish Debt Collection Agency (Kronofogden) show applications for debt restructuring in the country at an all-time high.

The agency has reported that total debt on its books now stands at SEK2.6bn (€254.45m), more than double the total in 2017. It estimates that some 15-20 per cent of applicants for debt restructuring have gambling debts.

Kronofogden believes that people who apply for debt restructuring due to gambling debts show a different pattern of behaviour compared to those who apply due to divorce, unemployment or illness.

It says they can be seen going from an orderly financial situation to unmanageable debt through a series of quick loans.

Sweden this week launched a new inquiry into illegal gambling that will seek to identify new ways to clamp down on offshore operators.

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