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Offshore crackdown scrapped by Swedish government

The Swedish government has decided it will not go through with its plan to allow gambling authorities the power to block unlicensed forms of gambling from the market.

This decision was revealed when the Swedish government submitted its new law on match-fixing and unlicensed gambling to its Legal Council, known as Lagrådet. Ministry of Finance and Chamber of Commerce director general Gunnar Larsson released a report that covered the subject of match-fixing and unlicensed gambling, which convinced the Swedish government to pull out of the crackdown plan.

The idea covered any unlicensed operations, whether they targeted Swedish players or not. As yet, the Swedish regulator, Spelinspektionen, is the authority body over any gambling that targets the Swedish market, pointing to marketing and local payment options. Crucially, it can then take action against unlicensed operators doing just that. The crackdown plan allowed them to also target offshore accounts, whether these pointers to the Swedish market were there or not.

However, when the proposals were put forward, the Swedish government took note of the fact that a majority of the respondents were either neutral or approving of the current approach to Swedish offshore gambling. There was also the argument from the state treasury that stressed that it wasn’t reasonable to go ahead with this new approach as it would force iGaming operators with no interaction with Sweden to avoid taking Swedish customers.

The Swedish government said, somewhat in defeat, that “there was a risk that the focus would be on whether players are resident or permanent resident in Sweden, instead of on whether the games are adapted for the Swedish market”.

But added that “there are still strong reasons for allowing the current scope of application of the Gaming Act to be developed through practice before it may be relevant to consider an extension of the scope”.