Casino & games

Spelinspektionen calls for new ad limits in Market Inquiry response

| By Marese O'Hagan
The Swedish Gambling Inspectorate (Spelinspektionen) has agreed with certain recommendations such as further limits on ads in the country’s Gambling Market Inquiry (Spelmarknadsutredningen), but has objected to others, including a permanent SEK5000 deposit cap on slot machines.

While the regulator supported proposals such as a licence for software providers and limits on ads, it argued that loss limits should be investigated further before they are implemented, and should apply to various high-risk forms of gambling rather than one vertical.

“A loss limit should also be supplemented with mandatory indication of login time.” added the Inspectorate.

The Inspectorate also stated that requiring “particular moderation” in advertising would be a positive step in enforcing responsible gambling.

This standard, it said, is already used for alcohol ads.

“It is logical to have the same basic requirements for the marketing of games as on the marketing of alcohol based on the risks associated with the products,” it said.

The Inspectorate welcomed the introduction of a gaming software licence, but added that it should not be required to manufacture gambling software, rather only for providing software too an operator. The introduction of permits for licensees was put forward to reduce unlicensed activity. It is also being investigated separately.

However, the Inspectorate seemed hesitant with the proposal that the Swedish Public Health Agency should create a risk classification model of different gambling forms, on the grounds that regulatory action would need to be prioritised.

Although gaming classifications already exist in Sweden, the Inspectorate called for official guidance on how risk potential will be measured.

In response to the Inquiry’s call for safer gambling measures, the Inspectorate asked for a limit on bonus offers in public lotteries to curb irresponsible gambling.
The Swedish online trade association Branscheforenigen för Onlienspel (BOS) also responded to the Inquiry, warning that low channelisation verticals could be at risk of suffering under unlicensed operators.

The Inquiry was launched with the purpose of tracking the development of online gambling in the country after it was legalised in 2019.

It was initially meant to examine additional measures to those outlined in the Gambling Act, but was then amended to include the limitation of responsible gambling advertising.

In August 2020 Sweden’s Equality Commission (Jämlikhetskommissionen) published a report of its own, which Spelinspektionen also responded to. This report included many controversial suggestions, including calling for time limits on gambling.

The Inspectorate responded positively to some aspects the report, but did not agree with its suggestion that anonymised information about customers should be provided to the Inspectorate.
“The introduction of such a register would also assume a thorough impact assessment and analysis of its compatibility with the constitutions and Sweden’s international obligations,” responded the Inspectorate.

“Solely the implementation of such a register would take about three years and require significant resources of the authority.”

Meanwhile, it questioned the feasibility of many other aspects, including the creation of a state-run portal for all licensed gambling.

BOS hit out at the report, disagreeing with the suggestion that all of Sweden’s gambling should be run through a state-run portal.

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