Sweden: 10 Gambling Companies Fail to Meet Consumer Protection Standards

Sweden’s gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, has found out that 10 license holders in the country have failed to provide license-mandated level of protection for vulnerable players.

License Holders in Sweden Fail to Protect At-Risk Players

According to Spelinspektionen, the Swedish Gambling Authority, licensed brands in the country have failed to create adequate consumer protection mechanisms, putting people in danger and the brand’s licenses now requiring further scrutiny.

As one of the most heavily regulated albeit newest markets, Sweden requires from every casino that operates legally in the country to have consumer-focused protection plans in place to help ward against gambling addiction and help eliminate gambling-related harm.

The latest review conducted by Spelinspektionen, however, indicated that as many as 10 license holders have failed to live up to the prerequisites outlined in the Swedish Gaming Act which came into force on January 1, 2019 when Sweden officially gave a start to its gambling industry.

Spelinspektionen reviewed all 67 licensed operators, although it didn’t specifically reveal what criteria the regulator used to determine whether players were adequately protected. According to the regulator, 10 operators lacked the tools and internal mechanisms to track problem and at-risk gambler and respond to excessive gambling on the part of individuals.

Follow the Money and Deposit Limits

Spelinspektionen recommended operators to begin following players who increase their depositing limits as that was indicative, in most cases, of a problem gambling behavior or in the very least, it suggested that players who increase their limits are often at risk of engaging in excessive gambling practices.

Therefore, all operators must follow the activities of anyone increasing their deposits or setting high limits from the start. Spelinspektionen has previously offered guidance on the main archetypes of players that exist today, categorizing them as:

  • Pleasure Players
  • At-Risk Players
  • Problem Players

As part of the licensing agreement, operators were obliged to pay specific attention to At-Risk Players and provide them with information about problem and responsible gambling. However, as the latest review indicated, 10 operators had failed to comply.

Specifically, the aforementioned companies struggled to protect players or track their activities. They didn’t provide any information about problem gambling either. While some operators did apply restrictions, but only if asked by players beforehand.

What Will Spelinspektionen Do Next?

With Spelinspektionen taking a closer look at operators in the country, operators are facing other difficulties as well. Recently, the Swedish government passed a $540 weekly deposit limit in a bid to protect At-Risk Players during the COVID-19 lockdown period, although Sweden has never fully enforced much in the way of restrictive measures.

All bonuses during the period must be capped at $10 with the measures kicking in tomorrow, July 2. Business has protested against the measures, cautioning that excessive regulation could only lead to players turning to the offshore sector instead.

Nevertheless, the government is going to see through the proposed changes. Interestingly, even Spelinspektionen has cautioned not to over-regulated the industry during the outbreak, citing the same reason as business leaders.

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