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Sweden gambling regulator nets funding boost

| By Richard Mulligan
Sweden’s gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, is set for a funding boost to ensure it meets Europe-wide commitments to counter match-fixing.

The government plans to increase Spelinspektionen’s (SGA) budget over the next three years. It is to receive SEK10.8m ($970K/€900K/£780K) in increased funding in 2024. It will then receive SEK15.6m in 2025 and SEK18.6m in 2026.

The grant will ensure Sweden meets the requirements of the Macolin Convention of the Council of Europe regarding the manipulation of results in sports, the government said.

The increased budget will also assist the body in restricting illegal gambling, with plans unveiled to work more closely with the Finansinspektionen financial supervisory authority.

The government intends to propose an increase in Finansinspektionen’s allocation by SEK4.5m starting in 2024. This cash will strengthen the authority’s cooperation with SGA in order to block payments to illegal gambling operations.

The proposals are based on an agreement between the government and the Sweden Democrats.

Niklas Wykman, Sweden’s financial markets minister, said: “There must be strong consumer protection in the gambling market. With this investment, SGA can sharpen supervision.

“In addition, the cooperation with the Financial Supervisory Authority can open up new opportunities to block payment mediation to and from illegal actors, something that can play an important role in the work to combat criminal activity.”

Safe, secure gambling market

Camilla Rosenberg, SGA’s director-general, backed the three-year budget plan.

She said: “Countering illegal gambling and match-fixing is the highest priority for a safe, secure gaming market for the consumer. With even greater collaboration with the Financial Supervisory Authority, we can become sharper in supervision. I see the proposal for increased resources as very positive.”

Under the Macolin Convention, signatory nations agree to prevent, detect and sanction national or transnational manipulation of sports competitions.

In April, Sweden’s leading gambling businesses backed a rise in fees to help the “underfunded” SGA perform its duties. The Online Gaming Industry Association (BOS) said it agreed with the plan to generate greater revenue beyond an additional SEK2.4m pledged by the government. Proposals included the increase of the fees for a five-year public lottery licence to SEK3.995m.

In May, the government outlined plans to push the gambling and finance supervisory bodies to collaborate more closely.

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