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Swedish Gambling Regulator Backs Credit Card Ban - With a Caveat

Swedish Gambling Regulator Backs Credit Card Ban - With a Caveat

by Alex Smith

The Swedish gambling landscape looks set for a significant regulatory shift as the country's gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, has announced its support for a ban on gambling with credit. However, they’ve also called for greater clarity with the new rules and regulations to ensure a smooth implementation.

Expanding the Scope of the Credit Ban

Back in February, Sweden's Ministry of Finance revealed plans to broaden the existing ban on licensed operators offering or providing credit under the Gambling Act. The proposed changes would prohibit both state-run operators and gambling agents from processing deposits - or taking bets - which are financed by credit. The type and timing of the credit is irreverent - and this includes banning the use of credit cards.

The proposals also emphasize the need for operators to conduct more efficient duty of care checks to safeguard vulnerable players and discourage excessive gambling. The Ministry has proposed that Spelinspektionen should be given the power to set these requirements themselves.

Concerns that Need to be Addressed

While Spelinspektionen has said it’s supportive of the proposed ban on gambling with credit, it has brought up a number of issues that they feel need to be addressed before the proposal can move forward.

They noted, for example, that under the current proposal, certain organizaitons like nonprofits selling lotteries and bingo games would not be affected by the ban, as they don’t accept payments via bank cards. However, public lotteries do sell tickets online - and Spelinspektionen wants measures to be brought in now to prevent these tickets from being purchased using credit cards or other forms of finance.

Spelinspektionen also voiced concern over, what they call “ambiguity” surrounding the rules that are being proposed. They go on to clarify they’re concerned about how the word “credit” can be interpreted.

They also noted that current proposals don’t go into detail on the practical requirements for operators. It’s unclear whether operators and licensees would be required to develop their own technical solutions, or whether they’d work with payment payment providers to ensure credit wasn’t being used to gamble.

Speaking on their concerns, they said:

Spelinspektionen instead interprets the proposal as meaning licence holders and agents may not allow such a payment if it is possible for the payee to discover without special investigative measures that the payment is made with a credit. 

That is, if the payee knows for some other reason that the gambling bet is financed with such credit. The scope of the proposed credit ban regarding debit cards could, for the reasons stated, be specified more clearly.

As it stands, there’s clearly more work to do - but it’s very likely a ban on gambling with credit in Sweden will materialize soon. We’ve already seen other regulators like the UKGC bringing in similar changes, and we expect more to follow suit in future.

About the author

Alex Smith

Alex Smith

As the original founder of Online Casino HQ, Alex Smith brings more than 15 years of iGaming experience to the table. With a background in direct-response marketing, Alex initially entered the industry as a consultant, working with industry giants like Cafe Casino and Bovada to develop content marketing strategies and provide expert guidance on navigating the complex landscape of regulatory compliance.

Transitioning to the media and affiliate side, Alex has contributed his vast knowledge to leading casino review and information sites, including Casinomeister, SlotsTemple, Vegas Slots Online, and AskGamblers. 

As a slots fan and experienced player, Alex understands what players look for in an online casino. Combining his industry expertise, affiliate experience, and player insights, he founded Online Casino HQ to cater to the needs of both seasoned players and newcomers.

Through Online Casino HQ, Alex aims to provide readers with honest, comprehensive, and up-to-date information, helping them make informed decisions and enhance their online gaming experience.

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