BOS criticises Swedish gambling advertising controls

BOS has warned that advertising controls could harm channelisation.
BOS has warned that advertising controls could harm channelisation.

The operator association BOS has called for the government to withdraw the proposed controls on gambling advertising.

Sweden.- The igaming industry association Branscheforenigen för Onlinespel (BOS) has responded to the Swedish government’s proposal to subject gambling advertising to “special moderation”, calling for it to be withdrawn.

Part of a consultation led by Sweden’s Ministry of Finance, the proposals would amend the 2018 Gambling Act to restrict gambling advertising in the same way as alcohol advertising. BOS has submitted a number of objections, citing the possible effect on channelisation rates.

It argued that licensed gaming operators play a vital role in directing players to regulated sites rather than offshore offerings, noting that the already low channelisation rates had been affected by temporary restrictions on online casino deposits.

BOS secretary general Gustaf Hoffstedt said: “The reason why it is important that gambling takes place on the designated licence market is only there do Swedish legislators and authorities have command of consumer protection.”

He added: “The state has a goal that channelisation in the Swedish gaming market should amount to at least 90 per cent as of January 1, 2022. The most recently estimated channelisation is 85 per cent and thus below the target of 90 per cent.

“BOS cannot come to any other conclusion than that the government’s both formal and public opinion outcomes against this form of gambling since the Swedish re-regulation in 2019 is reflected in the catastrophically low channelling of online casinos today.”

Hoffstedt also warned that sport and journalism could suffer as a result of controls because of the contribution gambling makes to teams and media outlets’ finances.

He said: “It cannot be the intention of the Swedish people to deny Swedish independent quality journalism such a decisive source of income, without offering a financial compensation that fully covers the losses.

“The same applies to the sports movement, which, thanks to sponsorship agreements, receives multi-million sums from gaming companies, in some cases multi-billion sums.”

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