Swedish government submits Gambling Act integrity amendments for EC revision 

Finansdepartementet – Sweden’s Ministry of Finance has notified the European Commission (EC) of its proposed changes to the 2018 Gambling Act. 

The amendments follow the conclusion of ‘Spelmarknadsutredningen’ an independent inquiry of Sweden’s re-regulated gambling marketplace in 2020, undertaken by  Social Democrat MP Anna-Lena Sörenson.

 Swedish authorities and national stakeholders responded to year-1 developments of the gambling market under Gambling Act’s regulatory framework, providing further recommendations on safer gambling, consumer protections and further market integrity provisions.

Following a review of stakeholder submissions, the Ministry of Finance has accepted amendments to the Gambling Act approved by Sweden’s Law Council – that aim to be passed into law by 1 July 2023.

The Ministry of Finance has notified the EC, that Gambling Act amendments will oblige licensees to disclose all information to Swedish Police should a customer be suspected of committing a gambling-related crime. 

Gambling Act amendments will require Swedish payment services providers (PSPs) to disclose information used in processing transactions for unlicensed operators.

The PSP provision is required as Sweden’s Law Council has backed recommendations for gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen to be granted direct powers to order financial payment blocks, without the need to secure administrative court approvals.

Further market integrity provisions will allow the Swedish Sports Federation to process operator data (if required) for the governing body to carry out investigations into match-fixing and sports corruption

The EC will review the proposed amendments to ensure that Gambling Act changes do not infringe upon EU competition rules.

The Swedish government aims to complete stage-2 of gambling market reforms ahead of Sweden’s General Elections on 9 September.

Of significance, this week Sweden’s Moderate Party (liberal conservatives) submitted a provisional mandate to the Riksdag detailing its plans to overhaul the gambling regime.

Spearheading a right-wing coalition to challenge Sweden’s Social Democratic government, the Moderate Party outlined that it would seek to split state-owned gambling operator Svenska Spel and sell its ‘competitive gaming unit.

The Moderate’s mandate stated that “running a gambling business was no longer a state requirement”. Further proposals called for a softening of bonus restrictions offered by licensed operators and removing gambling from the ‘adjusted moderation’ category for marketing to national consumers.

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