BOS: Sweden’s gambling licensing system in ‘serious situation’

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Sweden’s online gambling trade association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel has released a report revealing that the proportion of regulated gambling in the Swedish licensing system is in a “serious situation”.

BOS’ report has provided data on the proportion of regulated and unregulated gambling in Sweden, known as channelling.

Research agency SKOP.SE was commissioned by BOS to analyse “the channelisation for all online games in Sweden and for individual product types, such as sports betting and online casino”.

The report revealed that the proportion of regulated gambling in the Swedish licensing system is at a critically low level, as the channelisation for the online gaming market as a whole is 77 per cent, far lower than the state’s goal of at least 90 per cent ahead of the country’s B2B licensing regime beginning on July 1. 

Per segment, BOS also stated that sports betting has a channelisation of 84 per cent, while online casino currently stands at 72 per cent.

Gustaf Hoffstedt, Director General of BOS, stated that the Swedish licensing system is “in a serious situation”, adding that too much effort by the state has been focused on forcing gaming companies to implement measures that haven’t been well received by consumers, such as “Sweden’s de facto ban on bonuses and a ban on betting in lower football divisions”.

As a result, Hoffstedt noted that a quarter of players are now using the unlicensed gaming market, where “both consumer protection and tax payments to the state are non-existent.”

“If we are to succeed in reversing this trend, a shift in mentality is required from the state, from chasing, fining and limiting the range of games for licensed gaming companies to instead chasing the unlicensed,” added Hoffstedt.

“And not to regulate the licensed companies’ ability to keep gaming consumers in the licensed market. It is possible to reverse the trend, and from the industry’s side, we are prepared to link arms with the state to achieve the goal of improved channelling in Sweden.”