The Gambling Market Inquiry will put Swedish consumer protection out of play

Mon, 14 Dec, 2020

Minister for Social Security, Ardalan Shekarabi, introduced The Gambling Market Inquiry at the same time as the Swedish Government introduced the re-regulation in 2018, which was later implemented 1 January 2019. Led by Anna-Lena Sörenson, The Gambling Market Inquiry’s purpose was to, among other things, investigate and evaluate marketing restriction and other necessary precautions to strengthen the re-regulation. Today, Anna-Lena Sörenson, together with Minister Shekarabi, held a digital press conference where they presented the results.

Kindred Group is a member of The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling, or BOS (Branschföreningen för Onlinespel). BOS represents more than 20 gambling companies and game developers that operate in Sweden. Below you will find BOS and their members view on The Gambling Market Inquiry

When the government initiated the re-regulation of the gambling market a requirement was expressed that everyone who operated in the Swedish gambling market should have a required license. The games would have a high level of consumer protection and there would be a high level of player security. The negative consequences of gambling would be limited. In addition, the channelling (the proportion of players who play within the licensing system) would be high, over 90 per cent.

Shortly after the Swedish gambling market was re-regulated on 1 January 2019, the government, through Minister of Social Insurance Ardalan Shekarabi, criticised the licensed gambling companies for lack of moderation in their marketing. It was also argued that a digital online casino was more dangerous for consumers than a lottery subscription.

In light of this, another inquiry was requested to investigate and evaluate marketing restrictions. The Gambling Market Inquiry was submitted to the Government today, 14 December 2020, with a number of different proposals for further restrictions on the licensed gambling market.

Kindred Group is a member of The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling, or BOS (Branschföreningen för Onlinespel). BOS represents more than 20 gambling companies and game developers that operate in Sweden.

BOS has put together a fact sheet where they describe the impact of The Gambling Market Inquiry. BOS believes that the inquiry's proposal would put a well-functioning licensing system with expanded consumer protection out of play. If the proposal is implemented, even more consumers would choose to play with unlicensed operators without consumer protection. This is in direct contrast to what the Swedish Parliament decided on almost two years ago.

The inquiry proposes the following:

  • Online casino is prohibited from being marketed on television, radio and streaming media between 06:00 in the morning and 21:00 in the evening.
  • A risk classification system is created for the purpose of rating the degree of danger of gaming products, in which online casino is expected to be classified as a high-risk game. Based on this classification, the inquiry believes that further restrictions can and should be imposed on high-risk gambling.

BOS recognise that the proposals can be seen as reasonable on paper, but in reality, this means that consumer protection deteriorates for those who are most in need of a safe gambling market. In a digital world, neither the government nor the gambling companies decide where gambling consumers play. It is up to the consumers themselves. If the gambling experience deteriorates with extensive restrictions and prohibitions, licensed gambling is perceived as monotonous or complex, which in turn increases interest in the unlicensed games that are never further away than a push of a button on the computer or mobile phone. This becomes particularly remarkable when the supervisory authorities have not succeeded in preventing or prosecuting a single gambling company that targets Swedish customers without a license.

In the attached fact sheet you can read more about BOS´ opinion on The Gambling Market Inquiry.


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