Sweden proposes ‘re-regulating gambling market’

By Harrison Sayers

A new gambling Act has been proposed in Sweden which will offer a new licence system and increased emphasis on player protection, according to a report released on the government's website.

The Bill is aptly named ‘A re-regulated gambling market’ and offers sweeping changes to Sweden’s gaming landscape. The new gambling act will include a necessity for all operators to acquire an authorised license or face being shutdown.

Requirements for the license will include stricter guidelines on issues such as consumer protection and how companies look after troubled gamblers. This means all licensed operators must offer self exclusion services to their customers as well as ensure that they take ‘comprehensive duty to protect gamblers from excessive gambling’.

The new regulations which will  come into force on the 1st of January 2019 aim to end Sweden’s current monopolistic market in order to help better regulate online gambling in the country.

In a statement published on the Swedish Government's main website, Ardalan Shekarabi, Minister for Public Administration, stated:  "Unregulated gambling has taken over and gambling is used in criminal activities. It is 14 years since the first of a line of gambling inquiries was appointed. It is now time for us to move from words to action and regain control of the Swedish gambling market."

The overhaul will see the establishment of three seperate sectors of Sweden’s current gambling market. These will include a ‘completive sector’ which is set to include online gambling and sports betting. Also a sector for ‘non-profit purposes’ will be created for operations such as lotteries. The final sector to be formed will be for the central government. This will include ‘state-owned casinos and gambling on token machines’. The proposal also states that the gambling activities will be taxed at 18%, subject to licensing, whilst the non profit sector will continue to be exempt from tax.

Mr Shekarabi added: "We are reinforcing the Swedish Gambling Authority, granting it more and sharper tools. Unlicensed operators will be shut out of the market and licence-holders must conduct their activities in accordance with the law. Today we are also instructing the Swedish Agency for Public Management to follow up the reform to quickly make any amendments to the act if the goals of the reform are not achieved."


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