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Swedish gambling body supports tightened credit rules

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
The Swedish online gambling trade body, Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), today announced its support for the Ministry of Justice’s proposed tightened credit rules.
Sweden gambling credit

Under the Swedish government’s proposals, gambling operators will no longer be permitted to promote third-party sources of credit.

Sweden’s Gambling Act already prohibits operators from offering credit to consumers to gamble. However, some businesses had instead been promoting third party lenders willing to offer the service. The ministry is to ban this practice under the new rules.

Additionally, the ministry plans to establish a credit and debt register, known as the Skri Register.

The recommendations stem from an investigation, published in July, into excessive consumer debt. The report made several proposals to tackle the issue including calling for new laws around marketing and credit checks.

 “It is in the interest of the licensed gambling companies that gambling consumers do not spend more money than they can afford,” said BOS secretary-general Gustaf Hoffstedt.  

“Gambling shall offer excitement, joy and entertainment in safe and secure forms. Gambling should not lead to financial worry or vulnerability.

“Our member companies have no interest in directly or through agents encouraging their customers to gamble on credit. Therefore, we welcome the proposals in the inquiry that have bearing on the gambling market.”

BOS speaks out against credit card ban

The report contemplated the possibility of Sweden banning the use of credit cards in gambling. However, it ultimately did not opt to include the measure in its recommendations, citing the complexities of the current payments landscape.

BOS said this was the correct call, arguing that such a ban would have “draconian consequences” for the gambling market. It said to do so would hand an obvious competitive advantage to the unlicensed sector, ultimately scoring a blow against Sweden’s channelisation efforts.

The lobbying organisation also argued that the government measure to ban the promotion of third-party credit sources should not affect the use of credit cards for payment. BOS highlighted that credit card users are already subjected to a credit check when gambling.

The establishment of the Skri Register

The trade body said the establishment of a single debt and credit register would improve lenders’ assessment of a borrower’s financial position.

BOS added that gambling operators’ duty of care towards their customer may be improved if they were able to access this register.

“In addition, licensed gambling companies have an obligation to take measures against money laundering and the financing of terrorists,” said BOS.

“These measures would probably benefit if it were possible for licensed betting companies to seek information in the Skri register.”

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