A proposed framework has been prepared by Sweden’s independent online gaming trade organisation to ensure that clients are protected by fair terms when using online gambling services.
The advice framework, published by Spelbranschens Riksorganisation (SPER), was created in response to criticism from Sweden’s Consumer Agency, Konsumentverket. It outlines best practises on consumer terms and conditions for its members to follow.
Great potential for improvement
Jenny Nilzon, the chief executive of SPER, said of the guidelines: “The Swedish Consumer Agency has pointed out that there is great potential for improvement when it comes to agreements.
“This framework is intended as a help and guidance. Our recommendation is based on it being clear and comprehensible to consumers what applies when you become and are a customer.”
Prevailing dynamic in nine-point framework
SPER emphasised that clarity is the prevailing dynamic in the nine-point framework, in which operators must give customers with a clear knowledge and interpretation of contract conditions.
These conditions must also provide complete customer information about operator technicalities such as sign-up verifications, required documentation, data storage, deposits/withdrawals, and customer deregistration rights.
Furthermore, while operators can opt to incorporate ‘foreign laws’ in their T&Cs, the use of foreign laws cannot deprive or override mandatory consumer protections established by Swedish law, according to SPER.
Rights to contest
Customers must be informed of their rights to contest operator decisions using an authorised “dispute resolution solution,” such as the ARN (General Complaints Board) or the EU online Dispute Resolution portal.
Following an examination of 13 licenced operators’ terms and conditions, Konsumentverket notified Swedish gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen of a “litany of deficiencies” on consumer rights.
Swedish gaming is currently at a fork in the road, as licenced businesses wait to see if the government will follow through on the recommendations of the ‘Gambling Market Enquiry.’
The long-term effects of the vote of no confidence will not be felt until the Speaker of the Rikstag, Sweden’s parliament, successfully appoints a new Prime Minister and elections are held in September this year.