Leading Swedish gaming and sports betting company Svenska Spel insists on “sharper” regulatory measures to ensure that sport is free of match-fixing practices.
Svenska Spel Questions Spelinspektionen Proposed Regulations
Svenska Spel, one of the largest gaming and sports betting companies in Sweden, has issued a statement disagreeing with the Swedish Gambling Authority known as Spelinspektionen about its proposed measures to address match-fixing in sports.
According to Svenska Spel, the measures set out by Spelinspektionen in January that have to do with betting on rule violation, and specifically “red cards”, “fouls” and other penalties, won’t help keep sport clean.
Svenska Spel conducted a consultation that concluded on February 14 and the results were summed up by the company’s CEO, Patrik Hofbauer, who argued that the measures wouldn’t be enough.
According to Hofbauer, the underpinning issue lies in the fact that while the measures have the appearance of tackling the problem, there is very little evidence to suggest that they would be efficient in practice.
“Much sharper action is needed,” Hofbauer argued and said that it was a matter of manipulating specific elements of the gameplay.
For example, banning yellow cards betting wouldn’t do much as bets on corners and throw-ins are based on the same premise and, once again, they can be easily manipulated. In the meantime, services such a Sportradar have successfully led to a 21% drop in match-fixing incidence in challenging markets such as Asia.
Svenska Spel Pitches Own Solutions
Another issue according to Hofbauer is the fact that these restrictions would only apply to events taking place at home, in Sweden, whereas international and foreign events would be exempted. To give a better idea what Svenska Spel means, the company has presented Spelinspektionen with a list of solutions that can help it bring the danger of match-fixing to a minimum.
To address the issue head-on, Spelinspektionen should apply any new measures to all events, and not just focus selectively on markets and aspects of the experience. Svenska Spel also wants to see that all sportsbooks in the country with a Swedish license apply the same rules as well as limit the number of competitions people can bet on.
The logic goes that the higher the level of the sports contest, the more difficult it would be for anyone to run a match-fixing ring. Svenska Spel also wants communication between regulators and operators to improve.
Report Suspicious Activity Immediately
According to the company, sportsbooks should report any suspicious activity immediately as opposed to once a year as the current legislation requires.
Another proposal is for Sweden to ratify the Macolin Convention introduced by the Council of Europe and focusing on tackling manipulation of sports events. Svenska Spel is adamant when it comes to how it is perceived and specifically with regards to match-fixing. Swedish soccer team, Syrianska FC, has been recently accused of match-fixing, and Svenska has confirmed that all bets on the team’s games are off for the time being.
However, there have been those who have cautioned about the potential dangers of banning certain types of wagers. Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), a Swedish trade group for online gambling, has cautioned about the potential drawbacks of placing certain betting forms outside the regulated market, and possibly leading to an uptick in offshore betting.
Svenska Spel recently signed up a partnership deal with Microgaming, adding the supplier’s slot games to its iGaming operation.