Sweden is considering significant changes to its gambling laws in a bid to crack down on match-fixing in professional sports. The government is proposing to allow gambling operators to share personal customer data in certain cases as part of the efforts to tackle criminal activities such as match-fixing.
Under the current European Union Data Protection Regulations, operators are restricted from disclosing sensitive consumer data, which can sometimes hinder investigations into activities like the manipulation of professional sporting events. As a result, the proposed changes aim to give licensed gambling companies the ability to share information about consumers suspected of participating in match-fixing with the Swedish regulator, Spelinspektionen/SGA.
The new measure, if approved, will come into effect from December 1, 2024. Niklas Wykman, who is championing the measure, emphasized that it is important for licensees to collaborate with Spelinspektionen and share information to combat the fixing of games. He argued that the authority needs access to vital customer information to effectively protect the Swedish sporting sector from fraud.
Meanwhile, the Spelinspektionen recently took action against two operators, Smein Hosting and True Polygon Entertainment, for operating without a license, in violation of Sweden’s gambling laws. As part of the country’s crackdown on illegal gambling and fraud, both operators were banned from Sweden. It is a requirement for gambling companies to have a license to promote their products to local customers, and the Spelinspektionen acted swiftly due to the disregard shown by the violators.
The authority’s commitment to safeguarding the gambling and sporting sectors was further evidenced by its recent Memorandum of Understanding with the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA). Through the MoU, the Swedish regulator agreed to collaborate with the largest international betting integrity monitor in the world to prevent fraud and fixed games.
In addition to these developments, Sweden is set to increase gambling taxes, a move that has been met with discontent from industry representatives. The Swedish online gambling association, Branschföreningen för Onlinespel, has criticized the tax hike as a “gift to the black market.”
These proposed changes and recent actions demonstrate Sweden’s determination to ensure fair and transparent gambling practices while also protecting the integrity of professional sports.