The Swedes continue to take their battle against unlicensed operators very seriously. The latest step towards cleaning up the Swedish gambling market is that Spelinspektionen (The Gambling Authorities) will be getting more funding, targeted for this specific area. The additional funds will give them more power as well as resources to monitor the sector.
A while back, Spelinspektionen had said that it was not going to target unregulated online gaming platforms but things change and they are now singing a different tune.
Approved by the Government
As far as the funding goes, the Swedish government has been kind enough to confirm the money, securing an extra SEK 2.4 million (€210,000). The sum will be a part of the amendment budget of 2023, which is looking to be passed sometime in June if things go as planned.
“We welcome these extra funds which enable further strengthened measures in the fight against unlicensed gambling, money laundering and match-fixing,” said Spelinspektionens Director General Camilla Rosenberg.
Rosenberg continued by saying that the additional funds will help expand the watchdog’s personnel resources, as well as its supervisory and information-gathering activities.
Large Number of Permit Applications
The regulator added that it was handling a large number of permit applications this year alongside its supervisory responsibilities. The government has also submitted a proposal that would make it easier for Spelinspektionen to block payments to and from unlicensed operators.
“By excluding unlicensed gambling, we want to counter organized crime and strengthen consumer protection. Unlicensed gambling evades tax revenue, leads to problem gambling and contributes to match-fixing.”
The Ability to Block Payments
Moreover, the government has also submitted a proposal to the Swedish Parliament to give Spelinspektionen the opportunity to more effectively block payments to and from unlicensed gambling operators, as well as the potential to undertake covert supervision.
Financial markets minister Niklas Wykman added: “Unlicensed gambling companies can do great damage and must be removed from the Swedish gambling market. With increased resources, the Swedish Gaming Authority’s ability to use its new supervisory tools to shut them down is strengthened.”
Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling
It seems like the Swedish government isn’t the only party willing to contribute towards a healthier gambling market.
Sweden’s Online Gaming Industry Association (BOS), which includes its members Flutter, Entain, Kindred and others, is ready to pay more to be active in the country. This is because the money will allow the regulator to be better positioned to prevent illegal platforms and combat organized crime.
Gustaf Hoffstedt, BOS Secretary-General, said: We believe that the Gambling Authority is underfunded, at least in terms of maintaining an acceptable dialogue with the industry the authority is set to monitor.”
Decrease in Risky Gambling Behavior
Considering the country recently reported a decrease in risky gambling behavior, it’s interesting to see Sweden making a move like this. Some may argue that one has nothing to do with the other, however in some ways they do.
At the same time, there have been some other similar moves made lately from other countries in order to make the gambling market even stricter.