BOS attacks Svenska Spel over TV product placement

7 May 2019

Swedish operator association Branschföreningen för onlinespel (BOS) has reported Svenska Spel to the country’s TV, radio and press regulator for failing to include responsible gaming information in TV segments promoting its Triss, Keno and Lotto products.

BOS has reported the operator to the Granskningsnämnden over the segments, which it notes are often shown in the morning schedules and around family programmes. Programmes such as news and talk show Nyhetsmorgon have long featured segments where viewers play scratch cards live on air.

The association noted that while these segments are designed to drive participation in the games, they do not contain any responsible gaming information required by law, such as the 18+ age limit or information about the national problem gambling helpline.

BOS secretary general Gustaf Hoffstedt said he was greatly surprised that Svenska Spel has not acknowledged that such segments should be considered a form of marketing.

“A new gaming market requires not only new regulations and legislative changes adapted to a modern era,” Hoffstedt said. “It requires, above all, a common view of how we meet, act and communicate with customers from a sustainable consumer perspective.”

He added that Svenska Spel had to accept that the days of it holding a monopoly over the Swedish gaming market were over. As such, he said, using programme segments featuring gambling products should be regulated in the same way as any other form of advertising.

It is the second challenge filed against Svenska Spel by BOS since the Swedish market opened, following a complaint over the operator apparently exploiting its lottery monopoly to promote its igaming offering to consumers.

BOS’ intervention comes amid an ongoing debate about the prevalence of gambling advertising in the market. This has already seen gambling regulator Spelinspektionen launch a crackdown against operators it feels are advertising too aggressively, while the government has launched a review that may culminate in a blanket ban on advertising gaming products.

Svenska Spel has already announced that it will stop advertising its online casino product for the rest of 2019, and called upon the wider industry to follow its example.