The Swedish government is considering making changes to the current advertising regulations for online gaming operators. The Ministry of Finance has presented a proposal to move online gambling advertising, which currently falls under a moderation requirement, to a new special moderation category.
Spelinspektionen, which is the gaming regulator in Sweden, also supported the finance ministry’s proposal. However, the Branschföreningen for Onlinespel (BOS), the Swedish Online Gaming Trade Association, rejected the proposal.
Several countries, including Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, have sought to limit gambling advertising because they believe the general public is too frequently bombarded with gambling advertising.
Sweden is following the same path, as the Ministry of Finance believes that something more needs to be done to restrict advertising on gambling.
The new proposal would make it mandatory for all gambling advertisements to carry a warning and clearly indicate to consumers the risk associated with gambling. The most significant impact, however, will be with regard to when the gambling announcements are broadcast, as the new advertising regulations aim to implement a watershed ban and not allow gambling announcements. gambling until after 9 p.m.
One of the reasons for this proposal is to limit the exposure of children and adolescents to gambling advertisements during prime time television viewing. Gambling ads will fall into the same category of alcohol ads if the new proposal is rolled out.
BOS protests against new advertising rules
BOS is the nation’s largest trade association representing the rights and interests of the online gambling market which has already been hit hard by the pandemic restrictions on iGaming. BOS protested the finance ministry’s new proposal, saying it failed to properly weigh the pros and cons of the proposed advertising ban.
Gustav hoffstedt, the general secretary of BOS said that authorized Swedish iGaming operators have been able to distinguish themselves from unauthorized and illegal operators in the country through their advertisements. By opting for a ban on watersheds and imposing stricter advertising regulations, they would limit the efficiency of licensed operators and indirectly play into the hands of unauthorized operators.
Hoffstedt pointed out that the illegal online gaming market in Sweden continues to thrive as 25% of all iGaming revenue is in the hands of unlicensed operators. The new advertising regulations will put even more revenue in the hands of unlicensed operators and put Swedish players at greater risk.