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Sweden Looking into Ways to Protect Players from International Online Gambling Operators

Sweden’s Ministry of Finance has announced that Gunnar Larsson, the Director General of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, is to begin an investigation designed to protect the country’s legal online gambling sites from black-market competition.

Sweden looking into to protect players

Larsson will be looking at ways that the country can discourage internationally licensed online gambling operators from targeting Swedish gamblers without holding a license from the country’s regulator, the Spelinspektionen.

The investigation comes after Spelinspektionen had said that it currently does not have the ability to prevent payments from black market operators being processed. Larsson will be looking to see if the government and its agencies can put together a strategy that will help eradicate the black market.

The director general of Spelinspektionen, Camilla Rosenberg, said that they are very “positive” about the investigation that will be looking into unlicensed play and match fixing. She said that the regulator does not currently have sufficient tools to counter illegal gambling, and that it has previously raised this issue with the government.

At present, there are temporary limits imposed on Swedish gamblers due to the coronavirus. Players can only deposit up to SEK5,000 per week. A number of licensed operators have said that these restrictions have led to more black market play and it has also been pointed out that Swedish player protections, such as the self-exclusion system Spelpaus, is not effective without being able to stop players turning to unlicensed operators.

The Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) online gambling trade group has welcomed the investigation. However, its Secretary General, Gustaf Hoffstedt pointed out that, “The first two years of re-regulated gambling market in Sweden have been marked by repressive measures from authorities and the government towards Swedish licensed operators, whereas unlicensed operators have been left untouched.”

As a result, he has called for stronger laws to prevent Swedish gamblers from playing at unlicensed operators, as he believes that they are currently losing at least 25% of players to black market competition.

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