Spelinspektionen Warns Banks To Stop Dealing With Unlicensed Operators

Spelinspektionen Warns Banks To Stop Dealing With Unlicensed Operators September 16, 2019 September 16, 2019 Carolyn Dutton
 Industry September 16, 2019 by Carolyn Dutton

Sweden’s gambling market is booming and that is largely a positive sign for the gambling regulator – Spelinspektionen. However, despite the boom, the gambling watchdog is not pleased. This is because unlicensed operators continue to operate in the country. 

Spelinspektionen recently confirmed that it has sent out stern letters warning banks and other payment service providers in the country that they should not work with unlicensed gambling companies. 

The letters from the Swedish gaming regulator reminded payment service operators that working with unlicensed gambling companies is in direct violation of Sweden’s Gambling Act. Continuing such activities would create a loss in tax revenue for the country and create unfair competition in the local market.

The letter also pointed out that working with these unlicensed operators increased the chances of money laundering and other social evils.

The Swedish gaming sector opened up to foreign companies at the beginning of 2019. This has caused a bit of a boom as more competition came into the market. However, it also meat some rough times as operators and the government tried to figure out the correct balance of controls in terms of regulations and compliance. Unlicensed operators disrupt the market by not following current rules and hence Spelinspektionen is taking stringent steps to combat these unlicensed operators. 

Crackdown On Unlicensed Operators 

There are several reasons why the regulator is serious about its fight against unregulated operators. For one, all licensed gambling companies in Sweden are part of the nationwide self-exclusion system – Spelpaus. This system allows gamblers to stay in control of things as they have a way to ban themselves from gambling for a specific period of time.

Unlicensed gambling operators are not part of this system. This means that problems gamblers have an avenue to start playing again despite the normal blocks and make their gambling addiction a lot worse.

The Swedish gambling regulator is very serious about its role and has promised to continue its crackdown in cleaning up the illegal gambling market. Another reason for its strict stance is because criminals often target online gambling websites and use it for money laundering. Unlicensed websites make it easy for money launderers as they do not comply with Sweden’s gaming regulations. 

A good example of the regulator’s strict stance was highlighted earlier this year. Spelinspektionen revoked the license of Global Gaming, a Swedish operator offering gambling to the Swedish market. The main reason was because the operator had poor anti-money laundering and know-your-customer policies. Since then, the operator has been having a hard time trying to convince the regulator and the government to let it back into the market. Currently, all of its local gambling operations are suspended.

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