Sweden rules out plans for clampdown on unlicensed gaming

The courts had questioned the feasibility of the clampdown.
The courts had questioned the feasibility of the clampdown.

The government won’t go ahead with changes to take action against operators that don’t actively target the market.

Sweden.- The Swedish government has decided not to go ahead with proposals that would have seen the national gambling regulator clampdown 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. 

On top of that, the Administrative Court in Linköping said it was unclear whether the Swedish government actually had the power to adopt such a measure and the Public Prosecutor’s Office said it would be “very difficult to investigate and prosecute”.

The government concluded that the change would risk putting the focus “on whether players are resident or permanently resident in Sweden, instead of on whether the games are adapted for the Swedish market”.

It added that “there are still strong reasons to allow the Gaming Act’s current scope of application to be developed through practice before it may be relevant to consider an extension”.

As for the topic of match-fixing, the government proposes to allow gambling licensees and sports bodies to process personal data to check if sportspeople are not insider betting. It also proposes a clearer definition of “match-fixing” was necessary. The changes would come into effect from July 1 next year.

Swedish opposition proposes sale of Svenska Spel

The right-of-centre Moderaterna 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”.  

The party would also scrap Sweden’s restrictions on bonuses and would undo the current government’s recent decision to subject gambling marketing to “adjusted moderation”

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