The Swedish iGaming industry is among many that have been in the spotlight with heavy regulatory changes.
Sweden’s gambling regulatory body most recently moved to implement a day time blanket ban on gambling advertisement.
The ban has led to heavy criticism and fear of non-licensed operators gaining more control over the market.
Daytime Gambling Ads Banned
The Swedish Market Inquiry was launched in 2019 in an effort to investigate and evaluate all current marketing restrictions and aid with the re-regulation of the local gambling market. After two years of intensive study, the results were finally revealed in a digital press conference hosted by the Swedish Minister for Social Security, Ardalan Shekarabi.
During the research process, it has been concluded that a range of stricter regulations are required – which includes a blanket ban on all forms of gambling advertisements between 6 am and 9 pm. The purpose of the ban is to block any type of advertisement and marketing of games considered ‘most risky’.
The ban applies to traditional and digital services such as tv, radio, podcast, and video sharing.
According to industry professionals, fans, and operators, some of the greatest concerns regarding the gambling advertisement ban is that unlicensed operators will benefit. Peter Alling, Head of Public Affairs Kindred Group and chairman of online games, has revealed 38% of those suspended at Spelpaus continue to play unlicensed.
Unlicensed companies are mainly free to serve Swedish customers as there is currently no law in the Gambling Act covering unlicensed companies.
The main difference between the black market and licensed companies being the right to market their product. According to Alling, when it comes to ads there is very little advertising of online casinos today compared to a year ago.
Fight Against Black Market Impact
A black-market investigator has been appointed to continue the fight against illegal gambling.
The Minister of Finance in Sweden initiated the new investigation to reduce match-fixing and influence of the black market.
The Swedish Ministry of Finance appointed Gunnar Larsson, Director General of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, as the leading investigator in the fight against the black market.
The aim is to identify all obstacles and set forth a range of solutions that will reduce the influence of the black market in Sweden’s iGaming industry.
It’s clear that all necessary measures are being taken to improve the current regulatory framework and reduce the ease of access to the black market within the country.
Swedish Minister of Social Affairs, Ardalan Shekarabi commented:
“We have a responsibility to protect, above all, vulnerable consumers from illegal gambling, but also to protect the serious players in the gambling market from unfair competition.”
Operators might be receiving the short end with a range of new restrictions to follow and limited marketing options, but at the end of the day, the primary focus is consumer protection.
Alling believes it should be viewed as a whole with a balanced approached. While the advertising ban is reasonable there are more important issues to take into consideration such as risk classification.