Sweden toughens policy on online gambling advertising

swedentvLotteriinspektionen Sweden’s gambling regulator is set to introduce new policies and measures which will toughen the country’s advertising code with regards to online gambling products. The regulator and the Ministry of Finance have proposed a set of amendments to the nations gambling framework, the ‘Lottery Law’ designed to crack down on unlicensed online gambling operators targeting Swedish consumers.

The new amendments were last week presented to Sweden’s Parliament for review, outlining that the Lottery Law would punish both domestic and foreign operators deemed to be breaking new advertising standards. The introduction of new amendments were structured to be in-line with European Union competition laws, as Lotteriinspektionen will not discriminate against foreign based operators

In 2014 Lotteriinspektionen published declining market performance figures for state owned operator Svenska Spel. The operator’s governance had publically complained to Swedish ministers that its services could not compete against big budget foreign operators targeting Swedish consumers, and that current advertising laws and practices were futile at punishing unlicensed online gambling marketing activities.

Swedish news sources have stated that approximately SEK 2.6 billion (£200 million) has been spent on advertising of online gambling products to Swedish consumers. Foreign operators have been able to bypass Swedish gambling laws by advertising with international media owners and due to EU competition loopholes.

Under the new amendments, any unlicensed company who advertised in the country could be subject to fines and up to six months in prison if management were found to be guilty of “intentionally and unlawfully promote participation in a lottery.”

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