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Spelinspektionen under microscope as government announces audit

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
The Swedish National Audit Office has announced it intends to review the effectiveness of gambling regulator Spelinspektionen’s supervision of the gaming market.
Sweden gambling

The audit office said it intends to do so due to the changing regulatory conditions in the Swedish gambling market that have followed the introduction of new regulation into the sector.

On 1 July 2023, a suite of new regulatory reforms and requirements entered into force. These included the establishment of supplier licences and new enforcement powers for Spelinspektionen. Also the new regulation required gambling operators cooperate with the police on gambling-related crimes.

The audit office highlighted that the goal of Swedish gambling policy is to develop a safe gambling market capable of raising money for good causes while minimising consumer harms and criminal activity. As such it will investigate whether the regulator is currently delivering on its mission in this regard.

The office also said it plans to release more information about the audit, as well as the timing of its report.

How the office will conduct the audit

The investigation into the regulator’s effectiveness will follow international auditing standards. It said it may use qualitive methods such as interviews and document studies. The office said it plans to also use more quantitative approaches such as data analysis and the compiling of statistics.

The audit into the Spelinspektionen’s effectiveness will examine the commitments and results of the state’s activities. The office said the starting point of its review would ensure the state receives an effective exchange for its efforts.

The audit office’s annual plan – which it published in October 2022 – made no reference to an audit into the gambling regulator’s effectiveness at fulfilling its mission.

Sweden’s persistently low channelisation rate

In June, Sweden’s Online Gaming Industry Association (BOS) issued a report outlining how only 77% of the country’s consumers were channelled to regulated and legal offerings, which BOS termed “critically low”.

This compares to the 90% channelisation rate which is the country’s official goal.

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