Sweden To Revamp Payments Crackdown On Unlicensed Gambling

June 14, 2022
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​​​​​​​The Swedish government is taking the final steps toward making it easier for the Swedish Gambling Authority to crack down on unlicensed operators and to help curb match-fixing.

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The Swedish government is taking the final steps toward making it easier for the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) to crack down on unlicensed operators and to help curb match-fixing.

If enacted, the proposals would give the government the ability to issue regulations requiring payment processors to provide information that would support a crackdown on unlicensed gambling, the government said.

The proposals would also allow the SGA to make test online gambling purchases under an assumed identity to see if operators are obeying the law.

The current system relies on the regulator applying to an administrative court to order payment service providers to block some payments, but the SGA has so far not used the power, said Maria Wennerberg Sedigh, director of SPER gambling trade group.

“SPER is generally very positive about the government's proposal, which we hope and believe will lead to stronger consumer protection and create a more sustainable market by giving the Swedish Gambling Authority more tools to work against the unlicensed companies,” Wennerberg Sedigh said.

In January, online gambling trade group BOS said it supported the proposals but argued they probably would not be enough to combat unlicensed gambling.

The government could focus on improving “conditions for the law-abiding licensed gambling companies”, such as easing marketing restrictions, the group said.

Also proposed are measures to allow gambling licensees to share data with leagues to help in efforts to stop match-fixing, as well as to allow the government to issue regulations that would force licensees to cooperate with law enforcement when match-fixing is suspected.

The proposals now go to the Law Council, which is an agency of current and former judges commissioned to review proposals for legal validity.

Amendments to gambling laws would take effect on July 1, 2023, the government said.

Separately, Sweden’s Moderate Party has submitted parliamentary follow-up motions calling for the liberalisation of bonus restrictions.

The party also called for splitting government-owned Svenska Spel into two parts, a monopoly land-based unit and the portion that competes with online gambling companies, with the competitive portion to be sold.

It also said it did not support a government measure to force marketing to meet “adjusted moderation” standards.

The Moderate Party will take over the position of Prime Minister if there is a change in power in the autumn elections, BOS said.

BOS director general Gustaf Hoffstedt formerly represented the Moderate Party in parliament.

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