An illegal gambling inquiry has been launched by Sweden’s Minister for Social Security, Ardalan Shekarabi. This inquiry aims to look into illegal gambling and match-fixing in Sweden to discover how to best block unregulated operators from offshore.
Shekarabi said: “We have a responsibility to protect vulnerable consumers from illegal gambling, but also to protect the [licensed operators] in the gambling market from unfair competition. Increased efforts are needed to exclude illegal gambling from the Swedish gambling market.”
The director-general of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, Gunnar Larsson, has been put in charge of this endeavour.
The operator association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) has approved these new efforts.
Gustaf Hoffstedt, the secretary-general of BOS, said: “This is an initiative from the government that we welcome. The first two years of re-regulated gambling in Sweden has been marked by repressive measures from authorities and the government towards Swedish licensed operators, whereas unlicensed operators have been left untouched.”
Unregulated operators remain an issue for many markets around the world. They are not a safe option for players, and yet many make the mistake of signing up for each site. In Sweden alone, it is thought that at least a third of Swedish players search for unlicensed casinos instead of ones in the system.
This new illegal gambling inquiry and a subsequent crackdown should help to turn players back to safe and regulated sites.