BOS calls for Svenska Spel strip down to secure market clarity

By | April 20, 2021

Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS)– Sweden’s online gambling trade association – has reiterated its concerns on competition and fair market standards with regards to Swedish state lottery and gambling monopoly Svenska Spel’s influence on regulatory affairs. 

Responding to the Riksdag commissioned ‘Gambling Market Inquiry’ (‘Spelmarknadsutredningen’), BOS outlined that Swedish gambling continues to be undermined by the presence of Svenska Spel, which is able to operate freely across all market disciplines. 

The trade association maintains its call for the government to implement a divestment strategy of Svenska Spel’s sports betting and Casino Cosmopol units.

“We agree with the parties in the Swedish parliament that believe that the state should not act in the competitive gambling market like any other commercial gambling company,” BOS stated.

BOS underlined that a restructure of Svenska Spel was urgently required to maintain “confidence in the state’s ability to regulate the gambling market independently”.

Despite its challenge of Svenska Spel, overall BOS responded positively to Spelmarknadsutredningen recommendations put forward by Social Democrat MP Anna-Lena Sörenson – reviewing Sweden’s re-regulated online gambling marketplace.

As previously stated, BOS agreed with the inquiry’s rejection of statutory levy fees being imposed on licensed bookmaker activities to fund Swedish horseracing. 

Furthermore, BOS supported the recommendation for the Swedish iGaming regulator to adopt B2B licencing for third-party software suppliers, improving the technical oversight of the marketplace.

Gustaf Hoffstedt – BOS

BOS rejected the inquiry’s proposal to ban all advertising of licensed online casinos between 06:00 to 21:00 across all media platforms.

In its response, BOS stated that “marketing is the single most important tool for convincing Swedish gambling consumers to choose games within the Swedish licensing system”.

Swedish MPs were urged to reject Spelmarknadsutredningen’s advertising proposals, which BOS stated had been proven as ineffective against the black market by other European sectors that had imposed similar advertising restrictions. 

“This is already a major problem today – every fourth gambling krona is not played within the licensing system – and the leakage is expected to become even greater if the proposal is adopted,” stated BOS General Secretary Gustaf Hoffstedt.

“It would be a great loss for everyone who advocates for strong consumer protection on the gambling market.”