Paf proposes gambling advertising ban and higher taxes in Sweden

Paf says TV and outdoor gambling advertising should be banned.
Paf says TV and outdoor gambling advertising should be banned.

The operator made the proposals in a policy discussion entitled “the industry we love to hate”.

Sweden.- Ålands Penningautomatförening (Paf), the gambling operator owned by the regional government of the Åland islands, has proposed that Sweden ban gambling advertising and hike taxes on the industry.

The operator made the comments during a policy discussion that it held at the annual political forum, Almedalen Week in Visby, Gotland. The panel was entitled “The industry we love to hate”.

It argued that gambling operators should be prohibited from advertising on TV and outdoors and from sponsoring sports or using any advertising involving sports. It also suggested that the tax rate on gambling be raised from 18 per cent to 21 per cent in order to compensate the sports sector for the loss of sponsorship money.  

The operator also recommended that the self-exclusion programme Spelpaus be expanded to centralise players’ spending limits across all operators.

Present in the discussion were members of parliament from the Centre Party, the Moderates and the Sweden Democrats.

Daniel Wykman of the Moderata party said: “I would give the regulation we have today 2.5 points on a five-point scale. We need to adjust it.”

Catarina Deremar of the Centre Party said: “A broad majority adopted the gaming law and we established the law on what we knew to be correct at that time in order to achieve law and order in the gambling market. Of course, we then need to try to be as clear as possible so the law can be interpreted well.”

Sweden Democrat MP Angelica Lundberg said: “Our party supports the regulation we have today and we want to appoint a proper investigation after five years to fix what is needed.”

The right-of-centre Moderata Party plans to sell off Sweden’s state-controlled gambling operator Svenska Spel if it wins the country’s general election in September. It has submitted a provisional mandate to Sweden’s national legislature, the Riksdag, proposing the division and sale of the company.

The party, which has formed a four-party right-wing alliance to contest the elections on September 9, announced the move as part of its plans to overhaul Sweden’s gambling legislation, currently governed by the 2019 Gambling Act. 

Other changes would include constitutional provisions to require the government to obtain approval from the legislature to change gambling laws in the future “due to abuse of power during the past term of office”.  

Sweden rules out plans for clampdown on unlicensed gaming

Last month, the Swedish government has decided not to go ahead with proposals that would have seen the national gambling regulator clamp down on unlicensed gaming operators.

Spelinspektionen currently takes action against gaming operators that actively target Swedish players, but the proposed change would have led to the regulator going after any operator that failed to actively block Swedish players.

The proposal was made in a draft law on match-fixing and unlicensed gambling which took on recommendations from a report by Gunnar Larsson, the director-general of the Ministry of Finance and Chamber of Commerce.

Spelinspektionen has said that the change would help eliminate the current need for an interpretation of what targeting Swedish players entails. However, the state treasury has said that the proposed change was “not reasonable” because it would oblige companies that have no business in Sweden to adopt measures to block Swedish customers. 

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