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Swedish Regulatory Bodies Are Quick to Address Bugs in the New SystemPublished April 13, 2019 by Lee R
The two main regulatory bodies in Sweden have introduced a swath of reforms to protect against aggressive advertising.
To address rampant advertising in the newly regulated market, leading gambling trade associations in Sweden have released a new code of conduct for their member organisations.
Spelbranschens Riksförbund (SPER) and Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) drew up the new codes as measures of self-regulation in effect as of April 1, 2019 in one of the largest jurisdictions in the world.
Aggressive Advertising Concerns
The measures were introduced in response to Sweden's iGaming regulation architect and Minister for Consumer Affairs Ardalan Shekarabi concerns over an “aggressive nature” in the high volume of advertising initiated by eager new licensees in the first months of the opening of the market.
Nine Areas Addressed
The new controls address nine areas, starting with a requirement for licensees to ensure accurate marketing which maintains consumer confidence. Some of these prohibitions include restricting operators from offering so-called no registration products, such as Trustly’s increasingly popular Pay N Play solution.
Keeping Expectations Realistic
The measure seeks to have all licensees clearly indicate to users that there is no guarantee of winning, and that chance is the sole factor affecting outcomes.
Tempering the Message
Operators are also being held to task in their marketing to avoid encouraging excessive play and avoid suggesting that gambling in any way can be a solution for financial, social, personal or professional issues.
The third new directive requires licensees to set out all conditions and steps necessary to achieve bonus promotions; and the fourth requires operators to avoid marketing appealing to minors in any way, including specific prohibitions against advertising from being placed near schools or playgrounds; against gambling brands from appearing on clothing, equipment or products targeting or designed for minors; while requiring the clear featuring of age restrictions in all advertising.
Social Responsibility and Privacy
Subsequent sections include requirements that all ad deals are accompanied by social responsibility guidelines; clear displays of responsible gaming displayed in advertising complete with links to support services for problem gamblers; and consumer privacy controls adhering to the Swedish Direct Marketing Association, International Chamber of Commerce and Interactive Advertising Bureau’s guidelines for direct marketing.
With BOS secretary general Gustaf Hoffstedt confirming that the two bodies are in discussion with the Swedish media industry to ensure the new controls to maximise the effectiveness of the new measures, this is quite an efficient and accelerated adaption in the landmark model.