Betting suspended by Svenska Spel on Swedish football league

Swedish football league, Division 2 Södra has had offers on odds within sports betting in the league ceased by Svenska Spel’s Sport & Casino iGaming Subsidiary until further notice, following a request from the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) to suspend betting on the league.

The governing body took this step after monitoring that partners have revealed that as many as 13 matches in the division were suspected to have been rigged during the spring season. It has asked the country’s gambling regulator, Spelinpsektionen, to implement a blanket ban on offering odds on the league for all licenses in the market.

SvFF secretary general Håkan Sjöstrand said: “The situation that has arisen is so serious that we are unfortunately forced to take action to suspend the betting markets to safeguard the integrity of the league and prevent manipulation for the the rest of the season.”

The measure is the latest taken by Svenska Spel as a result of social responsibility concerns, following the operator’s decision to cease advertising on its online casino offering as a result of its concerns about excessive advertising in the newly regulated Swedish iGaming market.

While Spelinspektionen is yet to make a decision on whether to implement the blanket ban which has been requested by the SvFF, Svenska Spel has moved to suspend betting on the league.

The operator’s head of sports betting and gaming security Dan Korhonen said: “We work daily to ensure that the gaming products we offer our customers are free from manipulation.

“In discussions with the Football Association, we have expressed our concerns about Division 2 Södra Svealand, as the number of matches under suspicion is so high that the integrity of the whole league can be questioned. We see no other solution than stopping all betting (on the league).”

Sports betting regulations have also come under scrutiny in recent weeks, with uncertainty over regulator’s stance on offering odds on markets which involve professional sports people under the age of 18. This lead to eight licenses being handed official warnings and penalty fees as high as SEK10m (£848,313/€949,151/$1.07m) for offering odds on sporting events which feature a majority of participants under the age of 18.

Gaming Innovation Group suspend its sportsbook operations in Sweden earlier this month (9 July), after arguing that a lack of clarity on regulations put the business in “an impossible position”.

Operator body, Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), has demanded an urgent meeting with Spelinspektionen as it continues to look at address operators’ concerns about unintentionally falling afoul of regulations due to this lack of clarity.

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