Swedish Gambling Inquiry Recommends Gambling Ad Blanket Ban

A Swedish government review has recommended that a total ban on daytime gambling advertisements should be in place. The inquiry suggests that operators be prevented from showing commercials between 6 am and 9 pm.

Sweden’s Gambling Market Inquiry has called on the government to introduce a ban on gambling companies promoting their products before the watershed. If introduced, operators would only be allowed to show advertisements for “risky games” after 9 pm and before 6 am. The ban would apply to TV and other mediums such as radio, podcasts and video streaming sites including YouTube.

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Inquiry Recommends Gambling Ad Blanket Ban ©Pixabay.

The inquiry also wants to extend the current prohibition of unlicensed gambling companies on Swedish television to be extended to include media service providers and video sharing sites. The new rules would also extend to social media sites such as Facebook.

Investigators for the Gambling Market Inquiry have proposed a wide range of measures as part of a two-year review of the sector. These include introducing SEK5,000 (£447.44) per week loss limit on gambling via ATMs or land-based slot machines.

The inquiry also recommended that a cap on offering multiple bonuses be scrapped when the gambling activity raises money for a public benefit such as lotteries and good causes events.

Another focus of the report was the current lack of a risk classification system; the inquiry calls for the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) to be mandated to launch the initiative in partnership with Sweden’s Public Health Authority.

The report also called for the introduction of a licencing regime for companies offering B2B (business to business) white label products along with clarification of the Swedish Gambling Authority’s powers to prosecute unlicensed operators.

The Gambling Market Inquiry also called on the SGA to “create greater clarity” on the expectations on licenced operators in regards to duty of care when dealing with customers with a recommendation that a “law of obligation” be introduced as a licence condition. This change would allow the regulator to request information on an operators gambling operations with a legal obligation on the company to provide this.

Anna-Lena Sörenson, one of the investigators involved in the inquiry said:

“It has been a complex assignment that has touched on a large number of different issues linked to the gaming regulation, which in some cases have required difficult trade-offs,”

Adding:

I believe that the proposals we came up with can both contribute to strengthening consumer protection and make regulation more appropriate. Anna-Lena Sörenson, Investigator.

Swedish Minister of Social Affairs Ardalan Shekarabi said that the state has a great responsibility to protect consumers. Adding, “It is both about shutting out gaming companies that do not have a licence and ensuring that those who operate here with a licence do so in a responsible manner. The Gambling Market Inquiry’s report will form an important basis for the government’s forthcoming measures.

The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling or BOS (Branschföreningen för Onlinespel) acknowledged the recommendations in the report but, state that while the proposals can be seen as reasonable on paper, the introduction of the recommendations would mean that consumer protection deteriorates.

The trade body issued a statement in which BOS point out that it is the consumer, not the government, who determines which company they use to gamble. BOS claim that If more restrictions are placed on licenced operators, which affect the customer experience, the consumer will use an unlicensed operator who doesn’t have restrictions placed on them. Which BOS point out are “never further away than a push of a button on the computer or mobile phone.”

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