BOS: Sweden Risks Deteriorating Consumer Protection if New Restrictions are Introduced

The state Gambling Market Inquiry, which was handed over to the government today, proposes further restrictions aimed at the gaming companies licensed in Sweden. The overall goal of the re-regulation of the gaming market risks continued to erode and lead to a deterioration in consumer protection.

Earlier today, investigator Anna-Lena Sörenson submitted the Gambling Market Inquiry’s final report to Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi. The inquiry proposes, among other things, further restrictions and limitations for companies with a Swedish gaming license. Among other things, a new risk classification system and additional marketing restrictions for Swedish companies are proposed.

“Sweden has invested in a licensing system with 102 operators that offer a high level of consumer protection, they pay around SEK 4 billion annually in gaming tax, invest in workplaces and staff, sponsor Swedish sports and contribute to Swedish technology know-how. Banning licensed gaming companies from marketing their services to Swedish consumers while leaving unlicensed companies free to offer their services to Swedish consumers is a bad proposal. This only leads to reduced consumer protection and to erode the Swedish gaming market”, comments Gustaf Hoffstedt, Secretary-General of the Industry Association for Online Gaming, BOS.

The independent consulting firm Copenhagen Economics has in a report from earlier this year stated that a quarter of Swedes’ games at online casinos are played outside Sweden with companies that do not have a Swedish license. It also turns out that many unlicensed gaming companies specifically target their marketing to Swedes who have chosen to shut down on self-exclusion system Spelpaus.se.

BOS believes that this is a failure and that efforts should be made to increase the competitiveness of the companies that have chosen a high level of consumer protection and social security over the companies that have actively chosen to be outside the Swedish licensing system.

“The proportion of Swedes who play at gaming companies outside the licensing system is today far from the goal set by the Riksdag and the government. The government must first stop the unlicensed gambling so that together we can secure a Swedish gambling market characterized by entertainment and high consumer protection”, Gustaf Hoffstedt concludes.