BOS: Gambling Market Inquiry proposals to “erode” consumer protection in Sweden

By Iqbal Johal

Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) believes the Swedish Gambling Market Inquiry’s recommendations to propose further restrictions on the country’s gaming market will “lead to a deterioration in consumer protection.”

The inquiry was led by former MP Anna-Lena Sörenson, who submitted the final report to Sweden government minister for social security Ardalan Shekarabi, which was commissioned in June 2018.

The report, which was tasked with examining the measures launched as part of the online market’s re-regulation in January 2019, has proposed marketing restrictions for operators and a risk classification system for gaming products.

Online casino products will be prohibited from being shown on television, radio and digital media between 6am and 9pm. The report suggested that the classification system for games should be created to rate the degree of danger each one could possess, with online casino expected to be classified as high-risk. The report also proposed more measures should be in place to exclude unlicensed gaming from the Swedish market.

BOS, the Sweden trade association for online gambling, slammed the decision to restrict Swedish operators marketing their services, stating that “efforts should be made to increase the competitiveness of the companies that have chosen a high level of consumer protection and social security” over unlicensed operators.

BOS secretary general Gustaf Hoffstedt said: “Banning licensed gaming companies from marketing their services to Swedish consumers while leaving unlicensed companies free to offer their services to Swedish consumers is a bad proposal. This only leads to reduced consumer protection and to erode the Swedish gaming market.

“The proportion of Swedes who play at gaming companies outside the licensing system is today far from the goal set by the Riksdag and the government.

“The government must first stop the unlicensed gambling so that together we can secure a Swedish gambling market characterised by entertainment and high consumer protection.”

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