The ombudsman claims TV4 is providing advertising for Svenska Spel’s games.
Sweden.- The Swedish consumer ombudsman Konsumentombudsmannen has lost an appeal over its bid to inspect a contract signed between the state-owned gambling operator Svenska Spel and the terrestrial television channel TV4 AB for the promotion of Triss instant win games.
The ombudsman decided back in 2020 that news pieces on TV4 about Triss winners should be classed as advertising under the new code that accompanied changes in Swedish gambling regulation in 2019. However, TV4 appealed against that ruling, arguing that its relationship with Svenska Spel began before the 2019 reforms.
TV4, part of the Bonnier Group, claims that its features on Triss winners are newsworthy and promote local communities rather than prizes. However, Konsumentombudsmannen notes that the more than 300 news slots the channel dedicated to Triss each year could be worth around SEK 160m (€1.5m).
Konsumentombudsmannen sought to inspect the contract between Svenska Spel and TV4, but the Patent and Market Appeal Court has decided it has no legal right to do so.
The online gaming trade association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) has also criticised TV4’s promotion of Triss, arguing that TV4 should drop the features or subject them to safer gambling messages as required for other gaming ads.
Earlier this month, the Swedish government provided more details of its plans to overhaul its gaming licensing regime. The government intends to introduce mandatory gaming software licences for companies that supply gambling operators in Sweden and to raise licence renewal fees for operators.
Meanwhile, the Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has published its interim report on the impact of the country’s temporary online casino restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic. It found that the impact of the measures was impossible to determine but still said it would support their use in the future.