Swedish gambling regulator renews call for ban on credit card gambling

The Swedish regulator backs the proposal for a new debt and credit register.
The Swedish regulator backs the proposal for a new debt and credit register.

Spelinspektionen has responded to a report from the Ministry of Justice. 

Sweden.- The Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has urged the government to ban gambling using credit cards. The call comes in the regulator’s response to the Ministry of Justice’s July report on risky lending.

Spelinspektionen said that it remains of the opinion that the Swedish Gambling Act prohibits licensees from encouraging gamblers to borrow money. However, it says that a recent survey showed that 60 per cent of licensees offered credit card as a payment option. It argues that Sweden should follow moves by Britain and Norway which have banned the use of credit cards for gambling.

Spelinspektionen’s director-general Camilla Rosenberg said: “The regulator believes the investigation hasn’t sufficiently taken into account the signal value that a ban could have. It clarifies the perception that gambling on borrowed money is an undesirable phenomenon in society.”

She added: “An efficient credit check plays a very important role in counteracting the over-indebtedness that affects people with gambling problems. The Swedish Gaming Authority is therefore positive about the investigation’s proposal that a system for debt and credit registers (SKRI) be introduced.

“The Swedish Gaming Authority has no objections to the proposed design of the system, but wants to emphasise the importance of careful considerations during the further preparation, for example with regard to the question of what detailed requirements must be placed on a credit information company in order for it to be allowed to keep a SKRI register.”

The Ministry of Justice’s report studied the credit market and proposed measures to prevent risky lending. The ministry invited responses from various stakeholders, including the gambling operator Svenska Spel and the online gambling association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel. The latter has said that it supports proposals to ban gambling operators from promoting third-party sources of credit.

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