Swedish gambling regulators take offensive against black market operators

Swedish gambling regulators are taking the offensive against black market operators in an effort to steer customers towards regulated operators. It’s a move that speaks to intense desire by governments of all kinds to preserve whatever revenue streams they can during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent report by SBC News, Gunnar Larsson, Director General of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce has been tapped by the country’s Minister of Finance to lead an inquiry into how the Swedish market can be fortified against the onslaught of black market competitors.

One of Larsson’s first tasks will be figuring out how the Spelinspektionen, Sweden’s gambling regulatory body, can target – and block – payments to black market operators. Under current Swedish law, regulators are unable to block these types of payments and that’s a real problem.

Camilla Rosenberg, director-general of Spelinspektionen is optimistic that the new inquiry will yield results saying, ““We are very positive that the government has appointed an investigation to strengthen the work towards two important areas, unlicensed play and match-fixing.”

“The tools the authority has today to counter illegal gambling are not sufficient, which we previously reported to the government in the reports ‘Developments in the gambling market and measures taken due to the new coronavirus.”

Branschföreningen för Onlinespel, a trade group representing licensed online gambling operators was cautiously optimistic with Secretary-General Branschföreningen för Onlinespel saying, “The first two years of re-regulated gambling market in Sweden have been marked by repressive measures from authorities and the government towards Swedish licensed operators, whereas unlicensed operators have been left untouched.”

“A growing proportion of the Swedish punters have been abandoning the Swedish licensing market, with online casino as the most extreme example with a leakage out of the system of at least 25%.

“Considering the Government’s goal is that at least 90% of Sweden’s gambling shall stay within the licensing system by January 1 2022, that goal appears very distant.”