Swedish Treasury Pushes Black Market, Data Protection As Regulatory Focus

May 17, 2022
Back
Sweden’s State Treasury has found that government revenue and gambling addiction have remained largely unchanged since the country reformed its online market, as it backs new measures to protect players.

Body

Sweden’s State Treasury has found that government revenue and gambling addiction have remained largely unchanged since the country reformed its online market, as it backs new measures to protect players.

This week the Treasury issued its final report evaluating the country’s re-regulation of gambling four years ago. The report was commissioned by the government at the time of the re-regulation to track progress.

Among its chief findings are that tax income addiction rates have largely stayed the same, while it also calls for more consumer protection mechanisms. It declares the re-regulation an overall success, primarily citing increased public control over the gaming market.

The report touts the degree of channelling as the most promising outcome, as it increased to 87 percent from less than 50 percent pre-regulation.

The State Treasury calculates this percentage based not on the number of Swedish players, but by the number of kronor spent. Some 87 percent of kronor spent gambling in 2021 was spent at businesses with a Swedish licence, it said.

The Treasury reported that the remaining 13 percent was most likely spent by a smaller number of players with deeper pockets.

Gambling with companies that do not have licences remains a problem, The treasury said, and called it an “area for improvement”.

Although gambling is repeatedly reported as something that is now under “public control”, the percentage of the population that struggles with gambling addiction remained the same in 2021 as it was in 2018 at 1.3 percent.

In light of this, the paper said that it was necessary for “clearer regulation” of companies' use of gambler’s personal data, as addicts could be a target.

Another key highlight was the conclusion that state revenues from gambling remained the same before and after re-regulation, at about SEK6bn (€573m).

The report includes recommendations to improve the gaming industry in Sweden. It asks for a deeper look into channelling from the Swedish Gambling Authority in the form of regular reports. It also recommends that the regulator create a yearly report on match-fixing.

It also asks for the help of the Swedish Public Health Agency to track the trends of gambling problems.

To further assist in the fight against gambling addiction, the Privacy Protection Authority will be in charge of deciding if it needs to further regulate how gambling companies handle personal data.

The report also places particular emphasis on an existing proposal that would require licensing for gambling software companies and would recognise a new form of payment blocking for operators that are not.

It concludes that players who patronise black market sites are often very experienced and are already aware that the site they are visiting is not licensed by the Swedish government.

Therefore, alternative suggestions such as pop-up warnings would not be effective in addressing the problem, officials said.

The Treasury’s report concludes with the promise to continue following the effects of re-regulation in nine areas: development of the gambling market; channelling; state revenues from gambling; non-profit organisations’ income from gambling; consumer protection in the gambling market; public health and gambling; personal integrity; government agencies' costs; and crime and crime prevention.

Our premium content is available to users of our services.

To view articles, please Log-in to your account, or sign up today for full access:

Opt in to hear about webinars, events, industry and product news

To find out more about Vixio, contact us today
No items found.