Konsumentombudsmannen (KO), Sweden’s Consumer Ombudsman, has lost an appeal to scrutinise a contract between Svenska Spel and TV4 AB regarding their existing arrangement to promote the former’s Triss instant games.
Since 2020, KO has stood by its original decision that news features on TV4 promoting the instant games brand’s winners should be classified as advertising.
It noted that the decision was necessary to bring further transparency to Sweden’s advertising code, following the relaunch of Sweden’s gambling marketplace at the start of 2019.
TV4 appealed KO’s ruling, highlighting that its relationship with lottery monopoly Svenska Spel had been established prior to any 2019 gambling reforms being adopted.
The terrestrial channel that forms part of the Swedish portfolio of Bonnier Group has maintained that its Triss features have always been newsworthy, promoting local community winners over jackpots or prizes.
KO countered TV4 claims stating that the broadcaster had provided Svenska Spel each year with more than 300 news slots promoting Triss which, according to Swedish media monitor Resumé, could be valued at approximately SEK160m per year.
Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), Sweden’s online gambling trade body supported KO’s conclusion, stating that TV4 should either drop its agreement or apply safer gambling messages to its news segments.
The dispute had been forwarded to Sweden’s Patent and Market Appeal Court, which last week deemed that KO held no legal right to review the current agreement between TV4 and Svenska Spel.
2021 and 2022 developments have seen regulatory stakeholders put forward changes and amendments to Sweden’s gambling laws.
The gambling inspectorate and The Ministry of Finance, have backed a memorandum that aims to treat the marketing and advertising of Gambling in the ‘Special Moderation’ category mirroring the adult products of Tobacco and Alcohol.