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Sweden – BOS highlights worrying loss of public control

By - 7 April 2021

The proportion of Swedish gambling consumers who gamble at unregulated online sites is increasing, while the proportion playing safely within the Swedish licensing system is declining, according to the findings of a report commissioned by the Swedish Agency for Public Management. The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling, BOS, claims that public control over gambling is under serious threat and the government is failing its duty to offer gamblers full consumer protection.

The claims are in response to the publication of the Swedish agency’s publication of its fourth report on the Swedish gambling market since re-regulation in 2019. The full report in Swedish can be dowloaded here: Swedish Gambling Report 2021.

“I hope that the report by the Swedish Agency for Public Management can now put an end to the political proposals that the channeling into the Swedish licensing system is good. It is not, and the trend remains negative. We have felt quite alone in this remark but hope for a sobriety now that the state’s own expert authority points to the same conclusion,” stated Gustaf Hoffstedt, Secretary General of BOS (pictured).

“Every consumer who is lost to the unlicensed gambling market is a gambler who is not reached by the Swedish consumer protection. The increasing leakage to the unlicensed gambling market is due to two factors. On the one hand, the Swedish-licensed gambling market has been plagued by so many government restrictions that gambling consumers have grown tired and to an increased extent sought their gambling experiences elsewhere. On the other hand, the gambling law has such major shortcomings that in Sweden unlicensed gambling companies have been able to continue to offer their games to Swedish gambling consumers without hindrance. This anomaly must end. A first step to increase public control over the gambling market would be to urgently lift the temporary deposit limit for online casinos, but more needs to be done to protect the Swedish gambling license market,” Mr. Hoffstedt concluded.

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