Swedish regulator to crack down on excessive advertising

18 March 2019

The Spelinspektionen has set out plans to crack down on excessive advertising in Sweden’s regulated market, while the national gambling regulator has moved to formalise a cooperation deal with the country’s Konsumentverket consumer agency as part of this effort.

The regulator has said that while it does not currently have a solid definition as to how much advertising is considered excessive, this will become apparent as the regulated market matures.

Licensed operators that want to ensure they are advertising at a moderate rate are advised to contact the Konsumentverket, the country’s national consumer agency, for guidance.

When these regulations are established, the Spelinspektionen has said it will be able to impose backwards sanctions on licensees that have breached rules in the past. Operators that breach regulations could face an official warning, financial penalty or, in more extreme cases, revocation of their licence.

“A violation of the requirement of moderation is typically considered to be serious,” the regulator said. “The sanction that may be applicable in an individual case depends on several different factors, such as how long the infringement has been going on.”

As part of this effort, the Spelinspektionen has moved to formalise a cooperation arrangement with the Konsumentverket. The two organisations have been jointly responsible for overseeing marketing in Sweden, since the regulated market launched on January 1.

The deal will split responsibilities between the two bodies, as well as formalise the forms of information exchange and consultation.

The Konsumentverket will now oversee the areas of moderate marketing, direct advertising to self-excluded customers, the collection information relating to players' ages and from the problem gambling helpline, as well as overseeing lottery advertising.

Spelinspektionen, meanwhile, will focus on product-related marketing, bonus offers and sponsorship.

“The clarity we achieve with the agreement benefits the supervision as we ensure that important issues do not end up between the two entities," Spelinspektionen operations chief Patrik Gustavsson explained.

Andreas Prochazka, head of unit at the Konsumentverket, added: “Regardless of whether the consumers turn to the Konsumentverket or the Spelinspektionen with tips or notifications, they know that the case ends up right.”

The Spelinspektionen has issued a series of warning to licence-holders covering a range of issues since the market launched on January 1, as it seeks to ensure operators are compliant with the country's regulations. Warnings to date have concerned failures by licensees to comply with self-exclusion measures and regulations governing bonus offers.