ATG urges Swedish banks to block payments to unlicensed gambling operators

ATG urges Swedish banks to block payments to unlicensed gambling operators

The operator estimates that channelisation to regulated gambling continues to decline.

Sweden.- The Swedish gambling operator Aktiebolaget Trav och Galopp (ATG) has urged banks to block payments to unlicensed operators after its report for Q4 showed a continued decline in the channelisation rate to licensed gambling.

ATG’s report estimated the channelisation to regulated gambling for Q4 2023 to be between 69 and 82 per cent. That’s some way from the government target of 90 per cent and the fourth consecutive quarter in which the rate has worsened. ATG said it had seen a tenfold increase in traffic to unlicensed operators since the opening of the Swedish regulated online gambling market in 2019.

ATG said it had found that 19 of the 20 most popular unlicensed sites had the same platform providers as regulated operators. It said none of them were on the national regulator Spelinspektionen’s blacklist. Meanwhile, seven offered direct deposits and withdrawals to and from Swedish bank accounts and the others allowed payments via Korfort and the identification company BankID.

ATG chief executive Hasse Lord Skarplöth said: “It is a very worrying development and our investigation shows that more still needs to be done to keep the unlicensed companies away. Unlicensed gambling is the biggest threat to the Swedish gambling market and the vulnerable target group with gambling problems.”

He added: “In the light of our report, it is absurd that the Swedish Gambling Authority and banks impose high anti-money laundering requirements on us licensed gambling companies while at the same time watching unlicensed gambling companies.”

ATG results

Despite the decline in channelisation, ATG reported strong full-year results for 2023, with a 7.5 per cent rise in net profits to SEK1.45bn (€129.9m). Group revenue was down slightly at SEK6.04bn while net gaming revenue was up 0.9 per cent to SEK5.27bn.

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