Swedish Inspectorate sides with Finance Ministry on gambling advertising

The Swedish Gambling Inspectorate, Spelinspektionen, has updated its response to the Swedish government’s consultation for amendments to the 2018 Gambling Act as part of the Gambling Market Inquiry.

In its response, the Inspectorate has detailed that it is ‘generally positive’ about the Finance Ministry’s proposal to introduce a special moderation clause with regards to marketing games to consumers. 

The proposed amendment by the Finance Ministry would enforce gambling operators to include a ‘moderation warning’ on all marketing and advertising releases, similar to those seen on alcohol commercials.

Supporting the Ministry’s argument, the Inspectorate shared its belief that the requirement could lead to both “better consumer protection and increased clarity in relation to current requirements”.

“The purpose of the stricter requirement is to prevent the serious consequences that gambling can have for the individual and the difficulties that may arise for those who have gambling problems to control their gambling,” Spelinspektionen explained.

Spelinspektionen’s Board were broadly supportive of the proposed amendment, including Vice Chair Madelaine Tunudd and CEO Camilla Rosenberg, as well as Håkan Wall, Andreas Prochazka, Fredrik Holmberg and Doris Högne Rydheim

The amendment in question would cover all gambling verticals in the Swedish market, although some industry incumbents have suggested that the special moderation requirement should only apply to high-risk games, excluding products such as lotteries.

Launched by Social Democrat MP Anna-Lena Sörenson in December 2020, Sweden’s Gambling Market Inquiry seeks to make significant changes to the country’s regulatory oversight of the betting and gaming industry.

Notable recommendations so far have included the implementation of a licensing regime for software developers, the introduction of a permanent SEK5,000 deposit cap limit for slot machines and a tightening of advertisement regulations – the latter of which has seen calls for a prohibition of advertising of casino games between 06:00 and 21:00.

Responses from Swedish betting operators and Spelinspektionen to the inquiry have been mixed, with the Inspectorate supporting the advertising proposals and introduction of licences for software providers, but maintaining criticisms on the topic of loss limits.

Operators, meanwhile, have launched the ‘Fako om Spel’ (Facts about Gambling) website in cooperation with the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS), in order to better inform public opinion about the betting and gaming sector from an industry perspective.

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