The Swedish online gambling trade group, Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), has reiterated its concerns about competition and fair market practises in relation to the Swedish state lottery and gambling monopoly Svenska Spel’s impact on regulatory affairs.
In response to the Riksdag-commissioned ‘Gambling Market Inquiry’ (‘Spelmarknadsutredningen’), BOS stated that the involvement of Svenska Spel, which is able to operate openly across all market disciplines, continues to undermine Swedish gambling.
The trade group retains its demand that the government adopt a divestment plan for Svenska Spel’s sports betting and Casino Cosmopol businesses.
BOS said: “We agree with the parties in the Swedish parliament that believe that the state should not act in the competitive gambling market like any other commercial gambling company.”
Svenska Spel must be restructured immediately, according to BOS, in order to preserve “confidence in the state’s ability to regulate the gambling market independently.”
Re-regulated online gambling industry study
Despite its opposition to Svenska Spel, BOS voted in favour of Anna-Lena Sörenson’s Spelmarknadsutredningen recommendations for a study of Sweden’s re-regulated online gambling industry.
BOS agreed with the inquiry’s rejection of imposing statutory levy fees on licenced bookmaker activities to finance Swedish horseracing, as previously reported.
BOS also backed the Swedish iGaming regulator’s decision to introduce B2B licencing for third-party app providers, which would improve the marketplace’s technological oversight.
The inquiry’s recommendation to ban all approved online casino ads from 06:00 to 21:00 across all media outlets was rejected by the BOS.
“Marketing is the single most important tool for convincing Swedish gambling consumers to choose games within the Swedish licencing system,” BOS said in its response.
BOS urged Swedish MPs to oppose Spelmarknadsutredningen’s advertising plans, claiming that other European industries that had implemented similar advertising restrictions had proved unsuccessful in combating the black market.
BOS General Secretary Gustaf Hoffstedt added: “This is already a major problem today – every fourth gambling krona is not played within the licensing system – and the leakage is expected to become even greater if the proposal is adopted.
“It would be a great loss for everyone who advocates for strong consumer protection on the gambling market.”