Shekarabi calls for a tightening of Swedish licensing duties 

Ardalan Shekarabi, Sweden’s Minister of Social Securities, having drafted a raft of new safer gambling and consumer protection proposals, has seen them endorsed by the Swedish government. 

Addressing the media, Shekarabi stated that “the gambling market is where many Swedish consumers are vulnerable and therefore the government is right to take back control”.

The minister has proposed “new controls to limit aggressive advertising” alongside new licensing safeguards to protect the “gambling market from unlicensed companies”.

Backed by the Ministry of Finance, Shekarabi has proposed that mandatory licensing be applied to third-party games and software providers servicing Swedish licensed operators.  

The Minister’s draft proposals saw a continued focus on gambling advertising, of which he has previously stated that the Swedish market requires a “drastic reduction in volume

He called for a “ban on the promotion of illegal gambling and an extended ban on the promotion of unlicensed gambling in order to increase the possibilities of preventing illegal gambling activities”.

Further advertising reforms saw Shekarabi endorse “the requirement for the moderation of casino games”, with Swedish gambling’s riskiest product vertical deemed as requiring dedicated measures to protect younger audiences and the vulnerable.

As a final requisite, Shekarabi stated that licensed operators must be forced to disclose all information on their commercial activities as a licence duty to help the gambling inspectorate and government bodies track market developments. 

Endorsed by the government, Shekarabi’s proposals have been forwarded to Sweden’s Law Council that will undertake a legislative review,  upon which the proposed changes are expected to take effect on 1 January 2023.

2022 will see Swedish MPs vote on several amendments aimed at reforming Sweden’s gambling marketplace. Recommendations have been put forward by the Gambling Market Inquiry that was instructed to examine Sweden’s gambling marketplace since its reform in 2019 to allow for licensed online gambling.  

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