Swedish ministry proposes “special moderation” of gambling advertising

The proposed leglislative change would come into force in July 2022.
The proposed leglislative change would come into force in July 2022.

The Swedish Ministry of Finance has proposed that gambling advertising receive similar treatment to ads for alcohol.

Sweden.- The Swedish Ministry of Finance has proposed new rules for gambling advertising, treating it to the same kind of controls currently required for alcohol adverts.

A proposed amendment to the Gambling Act would introduce “special moderation” for gambling ads in Sweden from July 2022. Gambling would be classed similarly to alcohol because of its risk of addiction. 

The proposal was put forward in Sweden’s Gambling Market Inquiry, which suggested gambling operators should be exempt from the Freedom of Expression act. 

The current rules for alcohol adverts say ads “must not be intrusive, include outreach or urge people to use alcohol”. 

The proposal has been put to a consultation that will last until October 14. The Swedish igaming operators association Branschföreningen för Onlinespe (BOS) has already rejected the measure. 

Its secretary general Gustaf Hoffstedt said: “Swedish-licensed gambling operators have since a peak in 2018-2019 halved their advertising purchases. I do not understand how low the investments in marketing must be for the government to be satisfied.

“Gaming advertising from Swedish licensed gambling companies fulfils an important function for a safe and secure gaming market. Advertising strengthens the motivation for gambling consumers to choose Swedish-licensed gambling instead of the alarmingly high proportion of unlicensed gaming. 

“Already today, every fourth gambling krona leaks out of the licensing system when it comes to online casino, and with that, the strong consumer protection also slips away.”

The proposal comes amid growing calls for restrictions on gambling advertising in the UK during the Euros.

Sweden: gaming operators set the record straight

Betsson Group, LeoVegas, William Hill and Kindred Group have together launched a new website about gaming in Sweden that aims to provide the public with statistics and other insights on gambling in the country.

The Fakta om spel (“Facts about Gaming”) site has been launched in collaboration with the Swedish online gaming operators’ association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS). It aims to set the record straight and dispel misconceptions about the industry.

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