The Government of Sweden has confirmed that the country’s gambling regulatory body will receive a funding boost as part of a pledge to provide Spelinspektionen with more powers to clamp down on unlicensed operators.
Camilla Rosenberg, the director general of the Swedish gambling regulator, said that the additional funds would help the watchdog expand its personnel resources, as well as its activities associated with information gathering and supervision. She noted that the extra funds were extremely important for Spelinspektionen because they would make it possible for the regulator to enable further enhancement measures in the fight against unlicensed and illegal gambling, match-fixing, and money laundering activities.
The Swedish Gaming Authority has secured additional funding worth SEK2.4 million as part of the spring 2023 amendment budget that is expected to be finalized by the middle of April and then passed in June.
Spelinspektionen has unveiled that so far in 2023, it has been handling a large number of operating permit applications, alongside its regular responsibilities associated with the supervision and monitoring of the country’s legal gambling sector. The Government has also submitted a proposal seeking to make it easier for the Swedish Gaming Authority to suspend payments to and from companies that operate without the necessary license.
Organized Crime, Match-Fixing and Unlicensed Gambling Operations to Be Targeted by Regulator’s Efforts
The proposed boost of funding has already been approved by the decision-making assembly’s ruling three-party coalition of the Riksdag – Sweden’s legislature and the supreme decision-making body.
Currently, the country’s gambling watchdog is in a period that follows the passage of the Enhanced Gambling Regulations Bill in November 2022. Earlier this week, it was officially unveiled that the regulatory body’s board would remain pretty much the same in its latest one-year term.
The Sweden Democrats Party, which has been supporting the Government’s policies, has also approved the decision. The sports policy spokesperson of the Democratic Party, Angelika Bengtsson, has shared that the country needed active supervision of the local gambling market in order to be able to effectively fight criminal activity and protect vulnerable groups from the negative impact gambling could have on them. According to Ms. Bengtsson, the effective exclusion of unlicensed gambling would mean that the competent authorities would be able to counter organized crime and enhance consumer protection.
The sports policy spokesperson of the Sweden Democrats Party also noted that unlicensed gambling companies target local users and operate without paying taxes to the Coffers, contribute to match-fixing and such operations eventually result in problem gambling.
As Financial Markets Minister Niklas Wykman explained, illegal and unlicensed gambling operators can seriously hurt local people, especially the more vulnerable ones, and have to be removed from the Swedish gambling market as quickly as possible. The increased funding and resources received by the Swedish Gaming Authority would help the regulator use its supervisory powers to shut such businesses down and ensure a safe gambling environment for local customers.