The government of Sweden has proposed new legislation for the regulation of online gambling that would institute a fresh licensing system, establish prohibitions against illegal operation and inaugurate stronger consumer protections.
According to an official governmental press release, the measures being considered under the legislation could come into effect as soon as January 1, 2019, and would institute a fee of around $83,260 for a combined online casino and sportsbetting license.
“Unregulated gambling has taken over and gambling is used in criminal activities,” read a statement from Ardalan Shekarabi, the Scandinavian nation’s Minister for Public Administration. “It is 14 years since the first in a line of gambling inquiries was appointed. It is now time for us to move from words to actions and regain control of the Swedish gambling market.”
The government stated that the proposed legislation would ban online gambling operators that do not hold one of the new licenses from offering their services to players in Sweden while any native unlicensed firms would be required to close. The proposition is also due to institute tougher consumer protections such as a requirement that all firms offer customers the ability to exclude themselves and refrain from offering bonuses except on first deposits.
The proposals currently being considered in Stockholm would moreover prohibit unlicensed online gambling operators from marketing their wares to Swedish players while the nation’s gaming regulator would be given the power to order local Internet service providers to display warning messages on unlicensed sites and block any associated payments.
“We are reinforcing the Swedish Gambling Authority, granting it more and sharper tools,” read the statement from Shekarabi. “Unlicensed operators will be shut out of the market and license-holders must conduct their activities in accordance with the law.”
The government of Prime Minister Stefan Lofven explained that the legislation in its current form would additionally see licensed operators charged with protecting gamblers from excessive wagering while establishing strict new advertising guidelines.
Furthermore, the legislation would create a new ‘gambling fraud’ criminal offence and establish a special government commission to tackle suspected instances of match-fixing.
“Today we are also instructing the Swedish Agency for Public Management to follow up the reforms to quickly make any amendments to the act if the goals of the reform are not achieved,” read the statement from Shekarabi.