Be Careful What You Wish For: Sweden Revamps Rapidly Ahead of Regulation

Published October 25, 2018 by Lee R

Be Careful What You Wish For: Sweden Revamps Rapidly Ahead of Regulation

All kinds of adaptive measures are visible in Sweden in preparation of its new era.

Newly regulated Sweden is working furiously to address current and future issues in anticipation of new-look regulation taking effect in 2019.

Disproportionate Unlicensed Patronage

Mediavision released data findings indicating the nearly 60% of Swedes aged 18-74 with a registered gambling account at the end of June 2018 represented a 12 point jump year-on-year, with 58% of these accounts registered to domestic operators Svenska Spel (betting), ATG (horseracing) and Postkodlotterit (lotteries).

The remaining 42% of accounts are registered with international companies not licensed in Sweden, including Bet365, Unibet and LeoVegas, with unlicenced online gambling operators accounting for 60% of the registered accounts in the calendar year to June 30.

Battle for New Territory

Well into the grips of liberalisation of online gambling, Mediavision sees the campaign by unlicenced foreign operators on newly liberated Sweden Mediavision as a land-grab of sorts, with prospective applicants vying for brand recognition prior to January 1, 2019 starting gun.

Advertising Restrictions

Meanwhile, Swedish authorities continue to work overtime against unapproved advertising, with the latest crackdown being last week's fine of the Nyheter24 online media outlet for running banner ads promoting international online gambling operators.

In another advertising measure, Sweden gaming authority Lotteriinspektionen gaming regulatory body revealed new responsible gambling logos that locally licensed operators are now required display to confirm wagers are visiting approved gambling sites.

Three-Pronged Consumer Protection

A total of three logos must be linked to website sections belonging to all operators licensed in Sweden, enabling users to personally track their gambling activity; set spending and time limits on their gambling; and register with national self-exclusion program, also set to take effect on the first of the year.

Cracking Down on Match-Fixing

Finally, Lotteriinspektionen promoted Katarina Abrahamsson to head recommitted match-fixing prevention efforts. Abrahamsson will lead an anti-match-fixing council which will also include representatives from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Swedish Police, and the Ministries of Finance and Social Affairs. This office will pursue violators under a new law taking effect in January 2019 rendering match-fixing a criminal offence.

New Name Prevails

All this will take place under the auspices of the newly rebranded Lotteriinspektionen, which will come to be known in 2019 as the renamed Spelinspektionen, a new regime appropriately renamed for a new era in Sweden's regulation history, an era which only recently seemed far off, yet now threatens come in too fast.

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