Spelinspektionen, the Swedish Gambling Authority, has put forward plans for strengthening consumer protection and imposing tougher fines for Anti-Money Laundering violations. The measures have already been brought to the attention of the Council on Legislation (Lagrådet).
The supervisory body has suggested that legitimate gambling operators should be allowed to access and analyze their customers’ financial data as well as health status information. This would empower them to intervene timely and adequately, should they detect any indications of excessive gambling. Thus, they would more easily adhere to responsible gambling measures and guidelines.
Additionally, gambling operators would be obliged to obtain their customers’ agreement in writing for mobile gaming. The measures, which were published on the official web page of the regulator on November 17, 2023, form an integral part of a range of planned amendments to the Swedish Gambling Act.
The most outstanding amendments concern an increase in the fines charged for AML breaches. As of now, the fines for AML violations are lower compared to fines for breaches of the Gambling Act. Through the newly proposed adjustments, the penalties for AML violations would be equal in size to the maximum allowable penalties for violations of the Gambling Act.
Overall, the proposals aim to impede criminal activities in the iGaming market. If everything goes according to plan, the measures will take effect from April 1, 2024.
Camilla Rosenberg, Director General of Spelinspektionen, Comments on the Efforts to Strengthen Consumer Protection
Spelinspektionen’s Director General, Camilla Rosenberg has endorsed the above-mentioned changes that are geared towards the strengthening of consumer protections. She commented on them, stating that “further measures to strengthen the regulation of the gaming market” were a welcome change. She also defined the regulator’s proposal to increase the penalties as “gratifying”.
These amendments to the Swedish Gambling Act are happening amid a constantly evolving gambling environment. Meanwhile, this September, the Swedish government also proposed an increase in the gambling tax rate from 18% to 22% of the gross gaming revenue. Furthermore, plans to impose a ban on credit cards for gambling transactions were also discussed.
In the context of all these regulatory changes, the Swedish gambling market seems to have leveled off, with a Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) from legitimate gambling operators reaching SEK6.7 billion ($611.1 million) in Q3 2023. This represents a 0.6% decrease year-on-year.
Additionally, Spelpaus, Sweden’s government-run self-exclusion system has registered an increase in the number of players who would like to self-exclude themselves from participation in gambling. According to data from the system, a total of 99,000 players have opted for the self-exclusion tool by the end of Q3 2023, a number which represents a 4% growth compared to Q2 2023.