Spelinspektionen Draws Flak For Imposing Harsh Regulations On Online Gambling

Spelinspektionen Draws Flak For Imposing Harsh Regulations On Online Gambling November 8, 2019 November 8, 2019 Carolyn Dutton
 Legislation November 8, 2019 by Carolyn Dutton

Sweden has a thriving online gambling industry and Spelinspektionen which is the gambling watchdog in Sweden is keeping a very tight rein on the market to ensure that all iGaming operators comply with gaming regulations. 

Spelinspektionen has imposed a number of stringent regulations in the past to ensure that Swedish gamblers are protected at all times and licensed iGaming operators don’t have free market reign. However, this strict approach is hurting the licensed online gaming market and benefiting illegal gambling operators in the country.

Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) which is the trade association for iGaming is not happy with the government’s approach towards the online gaming market. Figures published by Spelinspektionen show that licensed iGaming operators now control between 85-87 percent of the market share while the remaining 13-15 percent is controlled by unlicensed operators. 

BOS is not happy with the numbers and pointed out that this rate is way below the earlier estimate provided by Spelinspektionen and is also well below the 90 percent rate that was outlined by the Swedish government’s channelization plans. 

The Channelisation program was designed to make licensed gambling in Sweden more attractive to players and discourage them from taking the risk and playing at unlicensed sites. BOS was not in favour of the Channelisation program and highlighted the fact that the 85-87 percent share was for online gaming only. 

When it came to sports betting, the percent was a lot lower which showed that the Channelisation program is not having the desired result as players are still going to illegal gambling websites. 

Harsh Regulations Make Licensed Sites Unattractive 

BOS claims that Spelinspektionen has been too harsh with licensed operators and the stringent regulations have made them less attractive to players. Licensed operators who breach regulations have been slapped with hefty fines, they have also been restricted from offering certain betting markets.

Things are not expected to get any easier for licensed iGaming operators in Sweden as the plan is to ban gambling advertisements in the country and follow in the footsteps of Italy. The plan is to prevent sportsbooks from offering betting on games where a single player can impact the outcome of the game.

These stringent regulations cramp iGaming operators and their services. As a result, unlicensed gaming websites offer players a lot more options as they do not have to comply with any of these regulations.   

Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world