Spelinspektionen wages battle against illegal gambling in Sweden

Image: Shutterstock

Spelinspektionen, Sweden’s gambling authority body, has updated its strategy for “actions against illegal gambling activities”. 

The authority updated the strategic framework that has been in place since December 2019, implementing measures that “contribute to the channelling of gambling to legal alternatives”.

Swedish stakeholders are reminded that although Spelinspektionen can launch investigations against unlicensed actors, the regulator holds no law enforcement mandate and cannot investigate crimes. 

The new strategy outlines how the gambling authority intends to safeguard Sweden’s legal online gambling market against black-market threats “in the form of online gambling directed at the Swedish market without a necessary license”.

Spelinspektionen has expanded its criteria for identifying illegal games and operators targeting the Swedish market, in which it will investigate the use of the Swedish language across websites, offers, affiliate referrals, customer service and terms and conditions.

Additionally, teams can investigate the operator’s payment options and technology solutions to verify that suppliers are licensed under Sweden’s Gaming Act.

Licensed games developers were warned of their duties to ensure that their games portfolios were maintained by Swedish licensed operators. Failure of these maintenance checks would lead to an ’intervention of licence’.  

Evaluating the impact of unlicensed operator activities on Sweden’s regulated market, Spelinspektionen investigations will collaborate with the national authorities of the Swedish Consumer Agency, Finansinspektionen (FCA), the Swedish Tax Agency and the country’s law enforcement agencies.

The body underlined that domestic agency collaboration, combined with its MoU partnership with counterpart European gambling regulators were required to better identify unlicensed actors encroaching on Sweden’s regulated marketplace.

On regulatory interventions, Spelinspektionen maintained that payment blocking of unlicensed operators would still require an administrative court order. However, Spelinspektionen can demand a payment services provider to make a ‘voluntary injunction’.