Sweden’s gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, has issued warnings to several payment services operators about the dangers of working with unlicensed gambling companies.
According to reports in the Swedish media, Spelinspektionen has written letters to some payment companies, remining them that by allowing unlicensed operators to use their services, they were effectively in violation of Sweden’s Gambling Act. The letter also states that such activity could enable unfair competition and lead to an overall loss of tax revenue from the gambling sector.
In their letter, the regulator underlined the responsibilities placed on payment providers by the gaming laws, under which they are not allowed to move money to or from unlicensed gambling operators, as such transactions have been found to increase the risk of money laundering or social problems.
Spelinspektionen also emphasised the negative effects on the Swedish gaming industry of such transactions, as they help to contribute to unfair competition and damage the market viability of licensed and regulated gambling operators who abide by the rules.
The gambling sector in Sweden has been going through a period of upheaval following the opening up of the market to private online companies at the beginning of 2019, and that process has included the imposition of strict controls in the area of regulations and compliance. Unlicensed operators potentially threaten that regulatory regime, which explains the regulator’s proactive approach.
Unlicensed operators also pose a threat to Spelinspektionen’s role as the regulatory enforcer as they are unable to take action against operators that lie outside its jurisdiction.
The regulator also took the opportunity in its letter to point out that unlicensed operators have no access to the official Spelpaus.se database, on which problem gamblers can register their self-exclusion, and thereby help to undermine attempts to promote safe and responsible gambling.