Swedish government pledges extra funds to fight offshore operators and organised crime
The Swedish government has promised the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) a cash injection of SEK2.4m (€210k) for 2023 to ensure a safer gambling market and tackle organised crime.
The pledge comes as part of the upcoming spring amendment budget and will enable the SGA to handle a large influx of permit applications and manage critical supervisory tasks.Angelika Bengtsson, sports policy spokesperson for Sweden’s second largest political party the Sweden Democrats, emphasised that active supervision of the gaming market is vital to combat criminal activity and protect vulnerable groups.
“By excluding unlicensed gambling, we want to counter organised crime and strengthen consumer protection. Unlicensed gambling evades tax revenue, leads to problem gambling, and contributes to match-fixing,” she added.
According to the government, the gaming market’s rapid turnover and expansion has increased the risk of criminal activities such as money laundering and match-fixing, with the greatest risks coming from unlicensed gaming companies.
To tackle these issues, the government has submitted a bill titled ‘Measures to ensure a healthy and safe gambling market’ to the Riksdag.
The bill proposes giving the SGA the ability to more effectively block payments both to and from unlicensed operators that target the country, as well as the possibility of covert supervision.
Financial markets minister Niklas Wykman: “The unlicensed gambling companies can do great damage and must be removed from the Swedish gambling market.”
The Dutch regulator (KSA) recently faced industry criticism after using the tactic of covert supervision to impose fines on unlicensed operators including Videoslots.
Sweden’s financial markets minister Niklas Wykman said: “The unlicensed gambling companies can do great damage and must be removed from the Swedish gambling market.”
He suggested the increased resources would strengthen the SGA’s ability to use its new supervisory tools to shut out unlicensed operators.
The 2023 funding proposal is based on an agreement between the Swedish government and the Sweden Democrats.
Wykman is responsible for the country’s gambling policy.
Last year, The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS) shared three important targets with the minister, including the protection of licensed gambling companies against the offshore market.