Swedish gaming industry evades ban on daytime ads

Sweden’s Ministry of Finance has proposed new measures intended to “exclude unlicensed gaming” from the Scandinavian country, but opted not to implement a daytime ad ban.

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The 191-page bill puts forward a comprehensive range of measures that include extended advertising provisions and new licence requirements.

For example, one such proposal would require any party that “manufactures, provides, installs or modifies” gaming software be licensed.

While this measure, and others like it, are first and foremost designed to tackle unlicensed gambling, and almost exclusively target illegal operators, it also includes proposals to reduce harm and protect vulnerable people.

In this regard, Sweden’s Government seems most focused on marketing. The proposal of particular interest to operators will be a requirement for “adjusted” moderation.

This differs from special moderation, which is applied when advertising alcohol and places fairly stringent limits on what companies can and can’t do or say.

“Special moderation is to ensure that the marketing does not contribute to maintaining or increasing the consumption of alcohol, nor does it contribute to a positive attitude towards the use of these goods,” stated the Government. “Outreach or intrusive marketing must not occur.”

It went onto compare alcohol to gambling, remarking: “Like alcohol, gambling involves a risk to people, causing problems with serious consequences for personal health. Gambling problems also contribute to health inequalities at the societal level.”

However, the Swedish Government did not propose a “special” classification be applied to gambling, instead opting for a more general, albeit vague, call for increased moderation.

This “adjusted” moderation will still permit gambling ads to be run between 6 am and 9 pm, assuaging previous fears about a daytime ban on ads for certain types of high-risk gambling.

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