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Sweden’s BOS rejects proposal for increased regulation of gambling ads

Sweden’s top online gaming industry organisation has rejected a government proposal regarding the increased regulation of gambling advertising in the Scandinavian nation.

The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling, Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), called for the withdrawal of the proposal from the country’s Ministry of Finance.

If successful, the proposal would see gambling advertising in Sweden be reclassified and go from being regulated ‘on the basis of a requirement for moderation’ to ‘special moderation’.

Gustaf Hoffstedt, the association’s Secretary General, strongly cautioned the Government against enacting this proposed change, saying: “This is another proposal from the Government that plays straight into the hands of unlicensed gaming companies in Sweden. The trump card of licensed gaming companies has been the opportunity to market themselves and thus channel gaming consumers into the safe Swedish licensed system."

This development follows a period of re-regulation for the country and the Government’s Gambling Market Inquiry concerning amendments to the nation’s 2018 Gambling Act.

If gambling ads do see their regulatory status tightened, they will be forced to comply with considerably stricter measures in much the same way as alcohol adverts already do.

These would include a warning on all marketing and advertising releases and, perhaps most damaging, a 9pm watershed for when online casino products can be shown on TV, radio and digital media.

“If the possibility of [broadcasting adverts] becomes even more difficult, the leakage out of the Swedish licensing system, and already 25% of the turnover for online casinos leaks out of the licensing system, will fall to even more critically low levels,” continued Hoffstedt, issuing a dire warning to the country’s regulator. “In the name of consumer protection, this proposal must be withdrawn.”

This news comes after the Swedish gaming regulator, Spelinspektionen, affirmed its support for the Finance Ministry’s suggested amendments.

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