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Sweden imposes wager limits aimed at curbing match-fixing

The Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen is looking to limit wagers on top-tier football matches as part of a larger plan to curb match-fixing. It’s a dire solution to a problem that has vexed professional soccer in all parts of the world for a very long time.

Soccer is one of those sports that’s uniquely vulnerable to match-fixing. At all levels, it is generally a very low-scoring sports, which makes every goal and scoring opportunity incredibly important. A single call from a compromised official or a single stumble from a player can have a huge impact on the final score, and whether or not it’s close enough to pay off wagers.

Officials at Spelinspektionen, recognizing the vulnerability of the game to nefarious forces, issued a set of new standards for Swedish licensed operators that were designed to curb match-fixing as much as is possible. Those guidelines, which have not yet become official policy, suggested that operators limit the amount of money that can be wagered on top-tier matches. They also suggested that proposition bets, such as how many penalties a certain player would accrue over the course of a single game, also be eliminated.

Last week, the regulatory body suggested that those new limitations be applied to wagers on matches played at all levels of Swedish football. They’re also going to recommend that the wager limits be applied to other sports.

Not surprisingly, the new plans have not gone over well with Swedish-licensed gambling operators. They’ve pointed out that close monitoring of wager patterns has always, and continues to be, the best way of detected potentially fixed football matches.

As of this writing, the new rules have not been made official, but regulators are clearly heading that direction.