Sweden’s Ministry of Finance has issued a proposal saying that gambling advertising should be categorised as requiring “special moderation”, in a similar vein to that required of alcohol advertising in the country.
Alcohol marketing in the country “must not be intrusive, include outreach, or urge people to use alcohol”, meaning the reclassification could represent a major change in the way that operators advertise their offerings.
The amendment would aim to “strengthen consumer protection” by placing “higher demands” on the production of responsible gambling advertising.
The Ministry stressed that such a regulation would not mean a total ban of gambling advertising, and recommended that “special moderation” be promoted across all advertising platforms.
The memorandum was published as part of the Ministry’s response to recommendations made by the country’s Gambling Market Inquiry, carried out in 2020 as a condition for the launching of Sweden’s online gambling regime.
The proposal has subsequently been attacked by the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS), which took particular issue with the potential amendment to the Gaming Law which would characterise gambling markets as needing “special moderation” as opposed to “moderation”.
BOS Chief Executive, Gustaf Hoffstedt commented: “Swedish-licensed gambling operators have, since a peak in 2018-2019 halved their advertising purchases. I do not understand how low the investments in marketing must be for the Government to be satisfied.
“Gaming advertising from Swedish licensed gambling companies fulfils and important function for a safe and secure gaming market. Advertising strengthens the motivation for gambling consumers to choose Swedish-licensed gambling instead of the alarmingly high proportion of unlicensed gaming.
“Already today, every fourth gambling krona leaks out of the licensing system when it comes to online casino, and which that, the strong consumer protection also slips away”.
Sweden Parliament House, Stockholm
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