Swedish trade group concerned about extra regulation

Sweden Online Gambling

The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling, or Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), has warned that micromanagement could damage the country’s iGaming market.

It’s reported that the country’s gambling laws may become tighter, and could include a possible ban on advertising. Some wagering types, such as betting on the number of corners in a football match, might also be stopped.

Swedish online gambling: regulatory issues 

According to Spelinspektionen, which is the country’s iGaming regulator, 13-15% of Sweden’s online gambling market is unlicensed. They want to reduce this to 10%. However, some believe that already-strict regulations have caused this figure to be as high as it is.

BOS are concerned that further regulation will have the opposite of its desired effect.

General Secretary Gustaf Hoffstedt said: “To discuss marketing restrictions for licensed casino operators in these circumstances, as well as prohibiting popular gambling projects, shows that the government doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation. 

“Such restrictions would virtually mean giving away the Swedish gambling market to unlicensed operators. The government is currently acting as the best friend of the black and grey market. This needs to end.”

Stumbling revenue

iGaming in Sweden has enjoyed success since online gambling was re-regulated in January. However, its Q3 revenue – at 3.35 billion Swedish Krona ($344.8 million) was its lowest total in 2019. 

Operators and affiliates alike have expressed concerns about the buoyant grey and black markets. One problematic example is how unregulated operators don’t pay tax, whereas those with a licence owe 18% of their gross gaming revenue each year. Licensed brands also have marketing and player deposit restrictions. Neither of these exist for companies without the permission to operate here. 

Other ways to address the ongoing problem of unregulated operators gaining a foothold here have been suggested. Henrik Tjärnström – CEO of Kindred Group – has been quoted in various publications, saying that B2B partners should also require local licenses. Through this, he believes that it would be easier to “cull unlicensed operators from the market”.

If things remain the same, however, Tjärnström feels as though these options will always be easily accessible.