New powers confirmed for Swedish gambling regulator
Spelinspektionen will have new weapons to tackle unlicensed gambling from July 1.
Sweden.- The legislature has approved the new powers proposed for Sweden’s gambling regulator Spelinspektionen. An update to the country’s Gambling Act will strengthen the regulator’s ability to monitor and intervene against unlicensed online gambling operators.
One of the new measures, which will come into force on July 1, will allow Spelinspektionen to make test purchases of gambling services using a hidden identity in order to monitor the activities of operators targeting Swedish players. The government said such undercover monitoring was needed for effective surveillance. Operators must be notified about test purchases as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Spelinspektionen will have new payment-blocking powers that are designed to replace those in the previous version of Sweden’s gambling legislation. The regulator already had the power to block payments to unlicensed gambling operators but said that practical difficulties with the existing regulation made it impossible to carry out.
The new powers will allow the regulator to create new rules to oblige payment providers to provide the information it needs to block payments.
Other new measures include authorisation to store and transmit personal data with the objective of preventing match-fixing and new requirements for gaming businesses to disclose information to the police about crimes.
Swedish court decision could open floodgates for review of gambling penalty fees
Sweden’s Supreme Administrative Court has made a decision that could open the door for gaming operators to recoup penalty fees paid to Spelinspektionen. The court has upheld the regulator’s penalisation of an online casino operator but ordered it to redo its maths.
Spelinspektionen initially issued a SEK 4m (€360,000) fine against Genesis Global for failure to integrate its brands with the Spelpaus self-exclusion system. After Genesis appealed, several court decisions reduced the fine, first to SEK 2m and then to SEK 1m. Sweden’s regulator in turn appealed against those decisions, taking the matter to the Supreme Administrative Court.
The court has ruled that Spelinspektionen’s decision was sound but that the lower courts were correct in deciding that the amount of the fine needed to be revised. The court said there were “ambiguities around the concept of turnover” and regarding how the penalty was applied, ordering Spelinspektionen to review its methods.