Swedish Ministry of Finance recommends ban on credit card gambling transactions

Some operators have circumvented the current ban on credit card use for most gambling.
Some operators have circumvented the current ban on credit card use for most gambling.

The ministry says the ban should apply to all gambling verticals.

Sweden.- The Ministry of Finance has recommended the introduction of a ban on credit card transactions in gambling. In its 650-page report on enhanced consumer protections against risky lending and over-indebtedness, it proposes that the ban cover all forms of gambling.

Sweden’s Gambling Act (2018) already bans the use of credit for most gambling but not lottery and soft game operators. Moreover, some companies have been able to get around the ban by taking credit payments indirectly via third-party services.

The report noted the findings of the Swedish Gaming Market Investigation, which observed a “continued practice of licensees offering gambling on credit in partnership with third-party credit services”.

The Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has urged the government to amend the law, arguing that it goes against the market’s principles if licensees “contribute or encourage players to take loans to maintain their gambling spend”.

The ministry’s report also analyses the state of consumer credit facilities available in Sweden, looking at interest rate caps, fees and penalty charges on all forms of credit other than mortgages. It notes that debts listed with the Swedish Enforcement Authority total SEK 101bn (€9bn) and those at collection agencies total SEK 102bn, both high figures historically.

A change in legislation would require a parliamentary vote. Svenska Spel and the gambling trade associations BOS and SPER have already agreed to prohibit all credit card gambling.

Swedish court overturns fine against ATG

The Administrative Court in Linköping has overturned a SEK6m (€500,000) fine issued by Spelinspektionen against AB Trav och Galopp (ATG). The racing betting operator had appealed against the size of the fine, which was issued due to anti-money laundering deficiencies.

The offences in question date back to between 2019 and 2021. Spelinspektionen found a number of failings including in relation to interactions on eight customer accounts. However, ATG argued that it had carried out appropriate risk-based actions.

See also: Sweden to probe political lottery rules

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