Svenska Spel CEO backs proposed betting ban on certain markets

15 October 2019

Svenska Spel’s chief executive, Patrik Hofbauer, has given his backing to plans to introduce a ban on select betting markets in Sweden in order to help clamp down on match fixing in sport.

The proposals were discussed yesterday (October 14) during a meeting between Swedish Social Security Minister Ardalan Shekarabi and representatives from both the Swedish Football Association and Swedish Ice Hockey Association.

Plans include a ban on betting markets that can be influenced by a single player in a match, such as corners and yellow and red cards.

Hofbauer said he would support such a move, saying match fixing is already a problem for the sports and gambling industries, and that betting operators should not make it easier for games to be fixed by offering betting markets on these events.

“This type of event is very easy to manipulate because they do not depend on the entire team effort, but can be controlled by a single player,” Hofbauer said.

“Svenska Spel has always been supportive of the sport on this issue. It is a matter of course for us to work together against cheating and crime. Our customers should be able to feel confident that the matches they have played on are free from manipulation.”

Hofbauer pointed out that Svenska Spel’s Sport & Casino igaming subsidiary in July stopped offering odds on the Swedish Division 2 Södra Svealand football league amid concerns over suspicious betting activity on the competition.

He highlighted a specific case in the Division 2 Södra Svealand when a player was suspected to have purposely got a yellow card during the match between Kalmar and Elfsborg earlier in the year, in order for his relatives to win a bet.

“The message from the minister shows that our politicians and legislators are also serious about match fixing,” Hofbauer said. “If a ban is now proposed and introduced, it will be a historic victory for the sport and the gaming companies that want to offer games on the terms of the sport.

“If you want the Swedish gaming market to be healthy and secure, then you welcome this message.”

Image: Svenska Spel