Swedish regulator: player protection plans lacking

The regulator says many operators' plans fall short.
The regulator says many operators' plans fall short.

Spelinspektionen says operators have failed to develop full plans to tackle problem gaming. It has also published a new guide on money laundering.

Sweden.- The regulator Spelinspektionen has concluded that many operators with Swedish licences have failed to develop full plans to tackle problem gambling following a survey of duty of care plans.

The Swedish Gaming Act, which has been in force since January 2019, obliges all licensees to draw up a duty of care to protect players and help excessive gamblers to reduce how much they play.

Operators must have an action plan that details how it will tackle the issue and must interact with players that they suspect of gambling beyond their means. Spelinspektionen has confirmed that all of Sweden’s 67 licensed operators submitted their duty of care action plans this spring but the regulator says that many were lacking.

It said ten plans failed to state what indicators would be used when monitoring players’ gambling, ten lacked a clear system for dealing with players who display signs of excessive gambling, and only half of companies contact players who had previously self-excluded to check that they were spending in a sustainable way once they renewed gaming. 

Ten licensees failed to give sufficient information about applying restrictions, and some offered “inadequate descriptions” of the restrictions to apply.

It also reminded operators that they should be cautious with players who set initial high deposit limits when opening their accounts.

The regulator said in a statement: “The Gaming Inspectorate believes that it is necessary for the companies to identify and indicate which indicators the company believes that they need to follow to find players who show signs of exaggerated gambling.

“The survey shows that almost all companies, according to their action plans, take into account that increasing a player’s deposit limit is an indication of increased risk. However, it is also important that the companies pay special attention to those players who have set high limits (which they rarely or never reach) when creating accounts as these players are not caught by checks based on players reaching their limits or raising their limits.

“The consequences of the companies not identifying relevant aspects of the duty of care and having incomplete action plans are that players do not have the protection required by the legislation. It is therefore of utmost importance that companies take heed of this survey and, based on it, take relevant improvement measures in their respective action plans.”

Spelinspektionen has also sent licensees a new guide on money laundering to licensees, noting that many operators were failing to assign players a defined risk level when they create accounts.

Sweden’s much-contested mandatory fixed deposit limits and bonus restrictions for online casino gambling are due to come into force on Thursday (July 2).

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