Following a government order, the Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen) has allied with the Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) to combat the proliferation of illegal gambling in the country. Both authorities are expected to release a final report by the end of April 2024. Meanwhile, Spelinspektionen has released a progress update on their joint efforts to curb the operations of unlicensed gambling operators.
Several meetings between the Spelinspektionen and the Finansinspektionen have been held throughout the year zeroing in on an effective agenda on how to prevent large transactions through unauthorized gambling sites.
The authorities commenced their joint work by establishing a shared plan including common areas of competence, transferring ideas between the two, and risk assessment. To succeed in the anti-money laundering initiative, the regulators explained that they might share relevant information about the illegal operators and their customers. The exchange of such information would be grounded on the common goal of suppressing gambling-related fraud.
Both organizations also focused their competencies on pinpointing the way illegal gambling is conducted in Sweden. According to the Spelinspektionen’s extensive monitoring of the industry, unlicensed offshore providers were able to operate within the country thanks to the implementation of local methods facilitating deposits and withdrawals. By offering such payment processors, they enabled their customers to easily load funds to their accounts and, consequently, cash out their winnings.
Therefore, the Spelinspektionen and the Finansinspektionen would focus their efforts on effective mechanisms to intercept payment mediation associated with unauthorized gambling companies.
The interim report concludes by stating that both supervisory authorities would share their expertise within the areas of payment and gambling markets to reach the common goal of combatting illegal gambling in Sweden.
The Swedish Government Unveils Plans to Increase Spelinspektionen’s Funding
Earlier this year, in September, the Swedish Government unveiled plans to increase the funding allocated to Spelinspektionen, effective from 2024. The regulator would command an additional SEK 10.8 million (approximately $965,900) to effectively tackle the illegal gambling market. The government also intends to gradually increase this funding over the next two years.
The effectiveness of the governmental measures would also depend on the success of the collaboration between Sweden’s Gambling Authority and the Financial Supervisory Authority.
Niklas Wykman, Minister for Financial Markets of Sweden, noted that the increased funding allocated to the gambling regulator and the collaboration with the financial supervisory authority would enhance its monitoring capacity, and respectively, empower it to block illegal transactions to and from unauthorized gambling operators.
According to a report on the National Risk Assessment of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism released in 2021, Sweden’s iGaming market is at high risk. Consequently, Sweden has welcomed a proactive approach to thwart illegal gambling and gambling-related financial offenses.