Swedish lawmakers aren’t slowing down their restrictions towards the online gambling industry. News is coming out that gambling ads in Sweden may soon be completely banned. It’s an unfortunate development for gaming companies operating here.
Today, we’re going to look at why Sweden is considering this drastic new move. We’ll also be discussing whether or not this gambling ad ban will actually be implemented. It’s an unusual time for this country’s internet gambling industry.
For many years, only one online gambling company operated in Sweden. This company, Svenska Spel, helped to earn the government millions in gambling revenue. Eventually, lawmakers here realized that foreign gambling companies were moving into the market without regulation.
In January of 2019, Sweden opened its online gambling industry to these foreign companies. They had the ability to begin operating inside the country after obtaining a license from the government. Unfortunately, Sweden’s online gambling industry is growing more restrictive every month.
Back in February, the country’s gambling commission announced that they were allowing individuals to block themselves from gambling websites and advertisements. Companies caught targeting these people with ads face heavy fines. If it continues, these sites face a revocation of their gaming licenses.
Later that month, Sweden also set new restrictions on online casino bonuses. Websites operating here can now only offer a single bonus to their members. What’s on the horizon next?
Sweden’s gambling commission is working hard to prevent the spread of gambling addiction. Not long ago, a report came out claiming that problem gambling is on the rise here. As a result, the government is cracking down on all forms of gambling marketing.
Ardalan Shekarabi, the Minister for Public Administration, is leading the charge for these new laws. He is launching an investigation into the websites currently operating here. If it’s found that any shady advertisement activities are taking place, he will propose legislation to completely ban gambling ads in Sweden.
Shekarabi doesn’t feel the latest set of gambling ad laws here are effective enough.
“The measures the industry presented to me contained good parts, but were far from sufficient to deal with the situation,” he told the media. “Now the government is taking further action to stop the aggressive gambling advertising.”
A prohibition of gambling ads would be tough for gaming companies here. It’s well-known that online gambling operators spend the majority of their revenue on marketing. How will these companies respond to the new laws?
On the surface, the proposed laws on gambling ads make sense. Sweden is clearly dealing with a gaming addiction problem. We’ve seen countries such as the UK take some pretty drastic steps against the online gambling industry, as well.
In reality, a ban on gambling ads in Sweden could be devastating. Sites here are already struggling to obtain revenue. Svenska Spel continues to bring in the majority of gambling money for the country.
It seems very likely that many of the legal websites choosing to operate here will simply leave the market. Some may decide to continue operating here without legal oversight. It’s unclear what steps Sweden would take to prevent this.
The Swedish government is torn between revamping its gambling laws and catering to the gambling companies operating here. Only time will tell whether or not a blanket ban on gambling here will be implemented. If it does, we’ll let you know about it.
Do you think these would be effective? How will it affect the online gambling industry in Sweden? Let us know in the comment section below!
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