Major Swedish gambling operators back higher fees to fund regulator

The Swedish government has recently announced an extra SEK2.4m in funding for Spelinspektionen.
The Swedish government has recently announced an extra SEK2.4m in funding for Spelinspektionen.

The online gaming association is supporting proposals to increase fees to help fund Spelinspektionen.

Sweden.- Major gambling operators have expressed support for proposals to increase some of the fees they pay to the Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen. It’s been recognised that the regulator does not have sufficient funding to conduct its regulator duties

The Swedish government has recently announced an extra SEK2.4m (€210,000) in funding for Spelinspektionen this year. However, the online gaming industry association BOS has said that it agrees with the regulator that more funding is required and that fees should cover the cost of licensing and supervision.

In December, the regulator proposed to increase the fees for five-year lottery licences from SEK3.53m to SEK3.99m. It would increase Svenska Spel’s licence fee for casino and lottery by SEK50,000 to SEK200,000, plus SEK2,000 per slot for administration costs.

Land-based casino gaming licence application fees would be SEK25,000 for natural person or sole proprietor applications and SEK80,000 for legal entity applicants, plus SEK3,000 per slot. Meanwhile, renewal fees and the SEK150,000 fee for amendments would be removed and the licence fee for commercial online gambling and betting would also be reduced as it currently exceeds costs.

BOS has said that would support a rise in fees to ensure the regulator was sufficiently funded to fulfil its duties, noting that at present it believes it is unable to offer the same service as regulators in other jurisdictions. BOS said it would like the regulator to provide a one-stop shop where licence holders could ask questions about rule compliance.

BOS secretary general Gustaf Hoffstedt said: “We believe that the Gambling Authority is underfunded, at least in terms of maintaining an acceptable dialogue with the industry the authority is set to monitor.

“More precisely, this lack of dialogue does not apply to the Spelinspektionen’s dialogue with BOS – it now works well – but the lack concerns the difficulty for an individual licence holder to establish a functioning dialogue with the authority.

“BOS would like to stress that we believe it is of great importance that the Gambling Inspectorate is sufficiently funded to live up to its overall commitment. It is of greater importance than keeping the licence fees paid by our members as low as possible. We note with satisfaction an increase in resources in the spring amendment budget of SEK2.4m, but we believe that more than that is needed.”

The Swedish government has announced that there will be little change on the Spelinspektionen board for the next year. Camilla Rosenburg will remain director general and the board’s seven members will hold their positions.

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