April 6, 2023 3 min read


New Funds to Help Spelinspektionen Target Unlicensed Operators

The SEK2.4 million for the gambling regulator is part of the country's spring budget amendment proposal

The Swedish Gaming Authority (Spelinspektionen) is likely to receive new funds to help its mission to enhance the supervision of the gaming market in the country and oust unlicensed operators.

Combat Organized Crime

The Swedish government proposed legislators increase the budget allocated to Spelinspektionen in 2023 by SEK2.4 million ($230,360) to boost the watchdog’s capabilities to counter organized crime and create a safer gambling marketplace in the country.

The proposal was made as part of the upcoming spring budget amendment and is based on an agreement between the government and the Sweden Democrats, justified by the regulator’s need to handle a large influx of permit applications concurrent with other important supervisory tasks in 2023.

Commenting on the proposal, Angelika Bengtsson, sports policy spokesperson for the Democrats, outlined the regulator’s need for active supervision of the gaming market to be able to combat criminal activity and protect those who are most exposed.

Tackling the unlicensed market represents a significant part of this task, she added, explaining that it would help counter organized crime and strengthen consumer protection as “unlicensed gambling evades tax revenue, leads to problem gambling and contributes to match-fixing.”

As the gaming industry in the country continues to grow and generate significant turnover, so does the risk for criminal activities such as money laundering and match-fixing related to the sector to occur, which, in many cases is also part of organized international crime with local branches. That risk is estimated to be the highest among operators that do not hold a license.

Block Payments, Covert Supervision

Therefore, the government submitted a proposal for measures that would give Spelinspektionen powers to more effectively block payments for unlicensed operators as part of its enforcement actions and allow the regulator the opportunity to perform covert supervision.

Financial Markets Minister Niklas Wykman stressed the great damage that can be done by unlicensed gaming operators and the need for the national regulator to remove them from operating in the market, highlighting that the increased resources would facilitate the regulator’s ability to use its new supervisory tools and tackle the black market.

A recent study into the habits of gamblers in the country showed that only 8% of them participated in gambling activities via an unlicensed website, of which only 6% admitted to having gambled with offshore operators intentionally, while the remaining 2% said they had done this without knowing.

Further encouraging for Spelinspektionen, 77% of the participants in the study declared their intention to refrain from gambling with unlicensed operators.

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