The Swedish government is hoping to implement tighter regulatory oversight for online gambling in the country through proposed legislation that if passed will take effect in 2019. The proposed new legislation is meant to institute a revamped licensing system, establish stronger prohibitions against illegal operation as well as instate more effective consumer protection measures. According to an official press release by the Swedish government, the proposed measures will introduce a fee of nearly $84,000 for both an online casino license and a sports betting license.
The issue of unregulated online gambling in Sweden has been a major concern for the country’s government for a very long time. Ardalan Shekarabi, Sweden’s Public Administration minister spoke about this in a recent interview where he emphasized that new regulatory measures needed to be put in place.
“Unregulated gambling has taken over and gambling is used in criminal activities. It is 14 years since the first in a line of gambling inquiries was appointed. It is now time for us to move from words to actions and regain control of the Swedish gambling market. We are reinforcing the Swedish Gambling Authority, granting it more and sharper tools. Unlicensed operators will be shut out of the market and license-holders must conduct their activities in accordance with the law,” he said.
The minister and other officials have also affirmed that the new regulations would go a long way in ensuring higher levels of consumer protection. For instance, all online gambling operators will be required to offer the players the choice of excluding themselves. Similarly, the operators will be restricted to offering bonuses on only the first deposits.
Furthermore, if the proposed measures that are currently being considered in the Swedish capital are passed online gambling operators will be prohibited from marketing their wares in the Swedish market. The measures would also give Sweden’s gaming operator the power to order the country’s local internet service providers to display warning messages on sites that are not licensed and block any associated online payments.
The proposed legislation would also introduce a new “gambling fraud” criminal offense which would, in turn, lead to the establishment of a government commission for the sole purpose of handling instances of match-fixing.