Rise in money laundering reports from Swedish gaming operators

Rise in money laundering reports from Swedish gaming operators

Gaming operators made 14.8 per cent more reports to financial police in 2020 compared to 2019.

Sweden.- Gaming operators in Sweden reported 705 cases of suspected money laundering to financial police in 2020, up from 614 in 2019.

The financial police said the increase was likely to be due to the rise in the amount of online gaming resulting from the closure of land-based gaming venues during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

However, despite the increase, the national regulator Spelinspektionen believes that the number of suspicious cases may have been under-reported because less than half of the close to 70 licensed operators submitted any reports at all.  

Reports were made by 27 gaming companies in 2020, compared to 30 in 2019.

See also: Swedish regulator fines four igaming operators over bonuses

Spelinspektionen reminded operators that they do not need to have evidence that money laundering has taken place to report suspicions, only reason to suspect that funds being deposited came from criminal activity.

The sums reported as suspicious were most often between SEK10,000 (€988 and SEK100,000, the police said.

Financial police make recommendations

The financial police warned that this year there may be a higher risk of money laundering through gaming as more players may opt to use offshore operators in order to circumvent Sweden’s online casino deposit limits.

The force’s report recommended measures to curb money laundering, including more control over transfers to gaming accounts, closer monitoring of unusual gaming patterns, and checks to ensure that gambling account holders are the named holder of any linked bank account.

It also recommended greater supervision and control of licensees and gaming operator staff and further study of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the market.

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Gambling gambling regulation spelinspektionen