Sweden: Restrictions for casinos?

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Peter Brandt December 28, 2020

The Swedish government is currently examining recommendations to regulate the online gambling in the country more. As part of a market analysis, Social Security Minister Ardalan Shekarabi had submitted suggestions that could give new restrictions operators. The Swedish Gambling Association “Bran Förningen För OnlineSpel (BOS)” reacted with an official press release to the impending tightening of the applicable gambling laws and tried to classify the recommendations objectively.

Sweden has only had a liberalized gambling law since January 2019. ((©DreamPixer/Pixabay)

Focus on advertising and marketing activities

The Swedish gaming market was only regulated on January 1st, 2019 and is now again faced with legal changes. The government in the person of Social Security Minister Ardalan Shekarabi had made a letter with recommendations that intends to tighten the current legal framework. The starting point for a new potential intervention in the gaming market are the Advertising and marketing activities of online casinos. In addition, Shekarabi criticize that Gambling online It is more dangerous for consumers than participation in the state lottery. Against this background, an investigation was commissioned to examine and evaluate restrictions on advertising and marketing activities in the industry.

Sweden’s gambling law. Sweden launched regulations for the national gambling in 2018 that adapt to the digital offer and modern player behavior. The gambling law has been final since January 1st, 2019 and gives the operators of online casinos and sports betting providers the opportunity to legally operate on the Swedish gaming market with an official license. In addition to focusing on player protection, the government hoped for tax revenue in the millions through the liberalization of the market.

Temporal limitation for advertising

The required restrictions on the area Advertising and marketing Subject that online casinos No advertising between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. can switch on television, radio and in streaming offers. As a result, both the player and the protection of minors should be focused even more on the center. Since the highest media consumption usually prevails during this period, the government around the Minister of Social Security is hoping for a significantly reduced response from the population for gambling.

The Swedish gaming authority “Bran Förningen För OnlineSpel (BOS)” sees the drastic restriction of advertising and marketing activities in gambling extremely critically and warns of the consequences that consumer protection would suffer. The restrictions of marketing would significantly reduce the chances of keeping players in the state license system. Sweden has round with the current gambling law 102 companies from the industry concessionthat all offer a fair and above all safe gaming experience. This system is responsible for ensuring that around four billion Swedish crowns (SEK) were paid for taxes and numerous jobs would be created. With the planned restrictions on advertising and marketing, however, the objectives achieved are in danger in the opinion of the authority.

Tasks of the Swedish gaming authority. The “Industry Föringen För OnlineSpel” represents all gambling companies and game developers who are aimed at the Swedish player. All members of the gambling supervision have membership and are therefore subject to the quality and security standards of the BOS.

Risk classification of gambling offers

In addition to the advertising and marketing activities, the recommendations of Ardalan Shekarabi take another aspect of gambling that would require a closer legal framework. A classification system is to be considered that the different gambling offers after theirs potential degree of risk classified. The players would be able to protect against particularly “dangerous” content.

The BOS assumes that online casinos are classified as a high risk in this ratification system. Based on the respective classification, the BOS fears that certain areas of the industry could suffer an enormous competitive disadvantage. At the same time, the authority warns of misguided assumption on the part of the government. So the recommendations would be the already functioning Gambling law with his licensing procedure override. If risk classification is actually implemented, only more players would play in non-licensed online casinos. This development is in direct contrast to the actual intention of the Swedish parliament, which was recorded in the Gambling Act almost two years ago.

Do the new recommendations miss your goal? The Swedish government has set up the gambling law that has been in force since 2019, among other things, in cooperation with the BOS industry association. The idea of structured liberalization and the maximum player protection would also be in the interest of the organization, which now sees the stable legal situation in danger. The idea of a risk classification is generally not wrong, but due to the conditions on the network, it is easy for players to do gambling outside the licensing system. Therefore, the BOS advocates introducing common risk classification. This should be tailored to the players and consider aspects such as play history, debt and income.