Spelinspektionen submits match-fixing regulations to European Commission

Spelinspektionen has submitted new regulations and general advice on match fixing to the National Board of Trade for notification to the European Commission.

Under the new rules, betting markets would be limited to the top four divisions of football, with betting on the Swedish Cup restricted to matches featuring teams from said divisions.

This policy has also been extended to games featuring foreign teams, with betting only permitted on games featuring teams from that country’s top four divisions.

According to the regulator, the restriction of betting to the top four tiers was necessary as lower leagues can be more susceptible to corruption.

The regulator said: “Match fixing is considered as one of the biggest threats to sports today and as a result of this as well against betting and the companies that provide betting.

“There are, as far as can be judged, great risks in offering bets on games at low divisions in football.Monitoring from both sports federations and the media is lower and the athletes do not make money and are thus more vulnerable.

“There is also a risk of athletes or whole associations coming in contact with match fixing at lower levels and then taking the problem up through the pyramid with any sporting success.”

The new rules on match fixing can only take effect after given approval from the EU Commission, which is expected to take ‘just over three months’. If given the green light, the regulations can be rolled out from 2021.

“The regulations proposed in will not be discriminatory, they are motivated by compelling public interest considerations and the integrity of Swedish sports, they are appropriate to achieve their goals and they do not go beyond what is necessary to achieve a well-functioning gaming market where sporting integrity is preserved,” Spelinspektionen said.

The regulator emphasised that regulations must not become too restrictive as this may result in operators leaving the Swedish market, or players gambling via unlicensed sites.

It added: “The unlicensed gaming market is never further away than a click on your computer or phone. Under the Gaming Act, licensed gaming companies have incentives to report suspected manipulation and are urged by industry organizations to do so, while unlicensed gaming companies have little or no incentive to report to police or otherwise collaborate with Swedish authorities or industry cross-border cooperation bodies.”

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