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Swedish regulator welcomes proposals to tackle gambling with credit

| By Marese O'Hagan
The Swedish Gambling Inspectorate (Spelinspektionen) has responded to a government inquiry to limit what it called “excessive debt”, which includes proposed rules to stop players from circumventing bans on gambling with credit.
Kindred Svenska Spel ATG Swedish

The inquiry is set to examine several aspects of excessive debt, focusing mostly on risks associated with credit provision and how preventative measures can be put in place.

As a result, changes may be made to the current law.

The inquiry is set to be completed by 3 May 2023.

The body recommended that the inquiry proposes measures to penalise those who circumvent the ban on offering gambling services on credit. It cited the Swedish Consumer Agency, which had found that some players may use a third party to provide payments by credit card or invoice.

In response to the inquiry announcement, Spelinspektionen asked the government to introduce several gambling protection measures in the form of credit reviews. Spelinspektionen suggested that this should include a debt register and implementing credit assessments as a requirement when seeking credit, to have a full picture of a customers’ debts.

“Spelinspektionen welcomes the government’s decision to appoint an inquiry to counteract over-indebtedness,” the regulator said.

“It is the task of Spelinspektionen to work for a healthy and safe gaming market with strong consumer protection.”

In September, Spelinspektionen released guidance to licensees specifying what constitutes gambling on credit.

Gambling on credit is already banned in Sweden, but Spelinspektionen felt a need to point out that certain payment solutions besides the use of credit cards or loans are considered using credit.

Great Britain last year also introduced a ban on the use of credit cards to gamble. Earlier this week, it published an analysis of the ban that determined that its ban on the use of credit cards to gamble has been successful, finding the ban was implemented smoothly, has been well-received and did not lead to “unintended consequences”.

The inquiry comes after the deadline passed for responses to Sweden’s public consultation into amendments to its 2018 Gambling Act last month.

The consultation, which proposed treating gambling advertising the same as alcohol advertising in terms of volume, was first suggested in Sweden’s Gambling Market Inquiry.

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