Spelmarknadsutredningen recommends further regulatory requirements
The Swedish Government has brought out the recommendations of the ‘Gambling Market Inquiry’ (‘Spelmarknadsutredningen’) related to the addition of regulatory requirements that are controlling Sweden’s re-regulated marketplace.
The investigation had originally been authorized by former civil affairs minister Ardalan Shekarabi in summer of 2018, as a necessity to Sweden launching its online gambling marketplace at the start of 2019, in which an independent inspectorate would review the first year proceedings.
The government would go on to appoint Social Democrat MP Anna-Lena Sörenson to lead the independent investigation, which would supply a critical oversight in regards to ‘stage two of the government’s regulatory approach on gambling’. Within her scope, Sörenson was asked to review whether the Swedish government was in need of a stricter set of centralised controls monitoring online gambling activities and market incumbents.
The MP would also look over the duties required by licensed online gambling incumbents, checking to see whether it is necessary to impose new levies for Swedish horseracing and sports development programmes.
Moreover, Sörenson was later tasked with undertaking a review of gambling advertising standards and practices. This came after consumer agencies complained about ‘aggressive advertising overexposure’ across Swedish broadcast networks.
“This has been a complex assignment that has touched on a large number of different issues linked to the gaming regulation, which in some cases have required difficult trade-offs.” read Sörenson’s statement to Sweden’s government. “I believe that the proposals we come up with today can both contribute to strengthening consumer protection and make regulation more appropriate”.
Sörenson’s inquiry advised the government to focus its future legislation on maintaining more strict regulatory conditions as a way to ‘exclude unlicensed operators’ from obtaining access to the Swedish market. The inquiry has recommended that the government should introduce a new licensing regime for software suppliers servicing the market, in which the government should impose a ‘classification of games’ and safety requirements.
All licensed suppliers and developers will be asked to document their game specifications providing Swedish inspectorate Spelinspektionen with a detailed ‘scope of the game’ blueprints, allowing the regulator to keep tabs on the market’s technical developments.
With regards to advertising practices, the inquiry called for the government to totally ban the advertising of casino games from 06.00 and 21.00. Additionally, the government was persuaded to reinforce its restrictions on unlicensed operators using international advertising networks in order to target Swedish consumers, while asking for tougher broadcast controls and penalties.
The inquiry suggests that Sweden should keep its temporary weekly casino deposit limit of SEK 5,000 (€500), stating Spelinspektionen required more time to make an appropriate assessment on whether to increase or decrease the player depositing limits.
“The Gambling Market Inquiry’s report will form an important basis for the Government’s forthcoming measures. The state has a great responsibility to protect Swedish consumers in the gaming market. It is both about shutting out gaming companies that do not have a license and ensuring that those who operate here with a license do so in a responsible manner.” Said Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi.