Swedish association questions proposed ban on gambling with credit


BOS has warned that the move will give an advantage to the unlicensed gambling market.

Sweden.- The Swedish online gambling trade association BOS has voiced its opposition to the Ministry of Finance’s proposed ban on gambling with credit. BOS noted that a government inquiry into indebtedness last year found “no sufficient reasons to introduce a ban on paying for gambling with credit cards”. 

Under the ministry’s proposal, gambling operators would not be allowed to process deposits or bets financed by any form of credit, including credit cards. The current proposal is for measures to start from September 1, with the ban to come fully into force on April 1, 2025.

However, BOS has raised the findings of a government report that found several potential complications with a ban, including the ability to link credit to debit cards. The report concluded that “the view from both banks and card issuers is that it would mean great difficulties to prohibit payment with a payment card when a credit is linked to such a card”.

Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary general of BOS, said: “It is sad that the government does not listen to its own expertise and instead proposes a ban on using credit cards for gambling, contrary to what the government investigation has concluded. 

“Interestingly, the government does not propose a corresponding credit card ban on the purchase of alcoholic beverages, which is only offered by a retail monopoly owned and operated by the government itself.

“Unlicensed gambling companies will continue to offer games with credit cards. The government is handing yet another competitive advantage to the unlicensed gaming market, which has a 41 per cent market share when it comes to online casinos. This is where the big threat to consumer protection lies. 

“There is a great risk that unlicensed gambling will overtake and gain a larger total market share than licensed gambling in 2024. The government needs to change its footing and show that it is on the side of the licensed gambling companies and consumer protection.”

Meanwhile, the Swedish parliament is to review proposed amendments to the 2018 Gambling Act that are intended to allow licensees to process data on “infringements related to or suspected of being involved in match-fixing”. The amendments are proposed in a government memorandum for referral.

The move would introduce special provisions for processing personal data in accordance with European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) principles. The new amendments are expected to come into effect on December 1 provided that they receive parliamentary approval.

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