Sweden’s government is taking steps to increase consumer protection in gambling with a new bill set to become law in April 2024. The bill, submitted to the Riksdag, is aimed at combating gambling-related crime and safeguarding consumers, according to Spelinspektionen, the country’s gambling regulator.
One of the key provisions in the bill is the increase in penalty fees for gambling companies that violate the Money Laundering Act. Currently, penalties for such violations are lower than those for contraventions of the Gambling Act. Additionally, licensed operators will be granted access to personal financial and health data of potential customers to help address problem gambling. Moreover, consumers will be required to provide written confirmation before engaging in telephone gambling.
Spelinspektionen’s director-general, Camilla Rosenberg, has praised the proposed changes, which are scheduled to take effect on 1 April 2024. This is part of a wider evolution in Sweden’s gambling landscape, with new supplier licenses and enforcement powers already in force since July 1. The government has also proposed an increase in gambling tax from 18% to 22% of gross gaming revenue, but this will not be implemented until at least July of the following year.
The introduction of these changes comes at a time when growth in Sweden’s regulated gambling market has stagnated. In the third quarter, gross gaming revenue declined by 0.6% year-on-year and remained unchanged from the previous quarter. Moreover, a report released last month indicated a tenfold increase in illegal gambling in Sweden since 2019.
Overall, the new bill marks a significant step in improving consumer protections and addressing the challenges in Sweden’s gambling industry. With a focus on combating crime and promoting responsible gambling, the legislation is poised to bring about positive changes in the sector.