The iGaming market in the Nordic countries has for a long time been both an important and influential region to the industry, with usage of mobile devices and Internet coverage in the Scandinavian nations (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) being among the highest in the world. However, there are certain Nordic countries that are more restrictive than the rest, in particular Sweden and Norway. In fact, on the 14th of June 2018, a new Swedish Gambling Act was voted in by Parliament, which entered into force on the 1st of January 2019. As one of the leading recruitment agencies in Malta, the team at Boston Link takes a look at these new regulations and how they have affected the industry so far.
The new Swedish regulations state that licence holders may only offer or provide bonus offers to players the first time a customer participates in a game. Therefore, players are only eligible for a single, non-recurring bonus upon sign-up. This greatly limits various types of rebates or promotions, as the law defines a bonus offer as “a discount or financial incentive” that stems from gambling activity. As a result, many recruitment agencies in Malta who specialise in the iGaming industry have been paying close attention to these regulations, especially due to the large number of Swedish gaming employees on the island.
Leading operators have already been penalised for breaching these new regulations, such as Genesis Global and the Swedish-facing subsidiary of Aspire Global, known as AG Communications. The former has been ordered to pay a sum of SEK1.7m (the equivalent of €160,205) whilst the latter has been hit with a fine of SEK500,000 (€46,957).
Other companies which have received sanctions include Betway and Mandalorian Technologies, both of whom were fined SEK5m and SEK9m respectively.
Swedish gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, has said that the new regulations have been put in place to safeguard players from negative effects of gambling and to strengthen consumer protection, as well as to reduce problem gambling and social and economic harm.
Global Gaming has its license revoked
After discovering serious failings in practices related to responsible gambling and anti-money laundering measures, Spelinspektionen has very recently revoked Global Gaming’s operating licence. Its holding company, SafeEnt, was also ordered to cease all business operations immediately, with the gambling regulator citing many breaches based on the activity of 10 players. Said activity involved a significant amount of money spent via Global Gaming’s brands, without the operator intervening to address the high levels of spending or determining the source of the players’ funds. This inaction was in violation of Swedish law, which states customers who set a monthly deposit limit exceeding SEK10,000 (€940) must be contacted by the operator.
Apart from the above, Global Gaming also neglected to provide the duty of care that the 10 players were owed, in particular four of them who had previously opted to self-exclude via the national register (Spelpaus). Proper checks and balances were also not carried out to ensure that the operator’s services were not being used for money laundering. A number of regulation failures related to bonuses were also discovered.
Following the re-regulation of the Swedish gambling market, an inquiry has been set up by the Swedish Government to examine the new conditions for horse and sports organisations. There are also plans to assess Svenska Spel – the current state monopoly – and how it has been adapting to the new regulations, along with how it intends to handle any damage caused by gambling activity in the future.
The relationship between the gambling market and other factors such as consumer protection, public health, financing of good causes and state finances will also be examined by the Swedish Agency for Public Management.
Get in touch with Boston Link today!
As one of the leading recruitment agencies in Malta, the team at Boston Link always strives to keep up-to-date with the latest happenings in the iGaming world, being one of the major industries for which we headhunt across multiple locations in Europe. We specialise in matching job candidates to roles best suited to their talents, skills and aspirations, offering a boutique service with a personal touch that sets us apart from many other recruitment agencies in Malta. Contact us today for more information about our services, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more of these updates.