Spelinspektoren BOS

BOS urges Spelinspektoren to drop proposed betting type restrictions

Spelinspektoren has been urged to think twice about proposed wagering restrictions  within Sweden.

Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), the Swedish Gambling Trade Association, has put forward a report for the regulator to look at. In this, it used data from H2 Capital – an industry market intelligence firm.

A comprehensive refute 

The letter was submitted as part of Spelinspektoren’s ongoing stakeholder consultation. This relates to safeguarding the integrity of sports in the country and protecting it from ‘manipulation’.

This consultation was launched after the regulatory body after drafted proposals were released last month. As part of these, certain betting types – such as yellow cards in football and faults in tennis – would be prohibited.

BOS has already made it clear that it disagrees with these potential law changes. In mid-January, Secretary Gustaf Hoffstedt said the below.

“The reasoning is that the new regulations should prevent match fixing, but in reality it clears the way for it.”

And now, BOS has put forward a 28-page report with insights from H2 Capital. The conclusion of this document is that Spelinspektoren’s proposals are counter-productive in various areas. These include strengthening gambling framework in Sweden, plus channelling players to licensed operators.

As part of its document outline, BOS said as follows.

“Whilst these restrictions are targeting areas that appear most vulnerable to manipulation, the industry’s concern is that restricting licensed operators from offering wagers on these products will merely shift the wagering offshore where there is no integrity oversight.”

Suggested changes 

The report has also put forward various suggested changes.

One of these is that the regulator should take a ‘macro-level’ approach to the regulation of sports betting. Through this, it’s believed that the “optimal solution in preserving sports integrity” is led by operators. Such companies would be cooperating with specialist integrity associations, where potential match-fixing cases are monitored.

The report also mentioned the below statistics.

“Analysis of the impact of these regulations implies a -7.5% decline in onshore GGR and a +30% increase in offshore GGR for commercial online operators. This translates to a -5.9 percentage point decline in the channelling rate to 75% of GGR from commercial operators onshore.”

A perceived catalyst for the black market 

According to BOS, Spelinspektoren’s proposed changes would promote unlicensed operators. This is despite player bets making up a small portion of the market right now. Since Spelinspektoren set out plans to rid the country of illegal gambling in December, this is viewed as counter-intuitive.

The association is also worried about restrictions creating an imbalance in regulatory framework. That’s because the rules would only apply to the Spelinspektoren licensing system. Therefore, prosecuting sports manipulators would become more difficult.

If the proposed changes are still favoured by Spelinspektoren, BOS expects that approval will be sought from relevant authorities in the EU.

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