Enhanced Payment Blocking Powers Granted to Sweden's Gambling Regulator

OCR Editor. - May 20, 2023
Sweden flag with metal money coins

Sweden's regulatory body, the Riksdag, has just enacted a regulation that significantly empowers Spelinspektionen, the country's gambling regulator. The regulatory authority has been granted a complete set of expanded powers, specifically focused on its capacity to block payments associated with unlicensed gambling operations.

May 16th, 2023: Sweden is gearing up to enforce new gambling rules, planned to take effect from July 1st of this year. These updated rules, which involve changes to the country's original Gaming Act, will present meaningful changes and grant additional controls to Spelinspektionen, the Swedish gambling controller.

One of the significant changes is the allowance for Spelinspektionen to conduct undercover business by purchasing gambling services under a secret identity. This measure aims to closely monitor the activities of gaming businesses operating within the regulated market, securing compliance with the law.

Another important part of the repaired law is the permission for the regulator to store and share personal data to prevent match-fixing. Gambling operators will also have an obligation to disclose information related to any crimes related to the gaming sector to the police, fostering transparency and accountability.

In terms of blocking payments, the earlier provision in the Gaming Act, which allowed the regulator to block electronic transactions suspected of being made towards unlicensed gambling businesses, has been repealed. Spelinspektionen had not utilized these powers due to practical problems in implementation. However, the authorities recognized the importance of payment blocking for channelization purposes and have introduced a new framework.

The updated rules now involve payment service providers in the process. Spelinspektionen will have the authority to create new rules that outline the obligations of payment providers to supply the necessary information for blocking unlawful payments. This collaborative approach aims to improve the understanding of how stakes and winnings are transmitted between the gambling operators identified by the regulator.

To address limitations in monitoring online gaming, the government has granted Spelinspektionen the power to conduct online test purchases of gambling services under a hidden identity. This provision allows the regulator to assess operators' compliance with the Gaming Act effectively. The operators will be promptly notified about the test purchase.

The Swedish authorities consider these new powers and regulations proportional, providing the essential tools for effective oversight of the gambling sector while promoting a safe and transparent environment for operators and consumers.
With the forthcoming implementation of these enhanced gambling rules, Sweden is taking a significant step toward ensuring the integrity and legality of its gambling market.

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