BOS lambasts Swedish gambling regulatory regime

BOS lambasts Swedish gambling regulatory regime

BOS lambasts Swedish gambling regulatory regime
The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS) and its Secretary-General, Gustaff Hoffstedt, have expressed a strong disagreement with the current state of affairs within the gambling industry, and the approach that the Swedish government has assumed in regulating the sector. BOS criticizes the continued decline of the regulated gambling market’s clout Publishing an op-ed for DN Debatt, one of Sweden’s biggest and most respected debate sites, Hoffstedt expressed his frustration with what he outright called the failure to regulate the licensed market in a way that protects consumers, minimizes harm, and restricts the clout of the offshore gambling market. Hoffstedt explained that the market has been plagued by chronically low channelization rates, pointing out the fact that not enough active players are being drawn to the licensed gambling market, but seek out offshore alternatives instead, and that the regulator and government’s plan to crack down on offshore operators through increasingly strict measures would not be in itself enough to ensure the survival of the regulated market. Hoffstedt argued that more has to be done to help licensed gambling companies thrive by creating a healthy and sustainable framework of laws in the first place. Hoffstadt further argued that the reason why consumers have been turning to the unregulated market was a desire to be “free” of overly restrictive bonus measures and background checks, along with high taxes, and a fairly small offer of games. He similarly vituperated against the offshore market, calling it a place where businesses were generating profit from money laundering, tax evasion, and other crimes. “After these five years, we have now reached the point where we have to call the new game regulation for what it really is. A fiasco,” a translated statement by Hoffstedt said. He pulled hard facts to prove his point, arguing that the original intention was to have 90% of all players stick to regulated gambling sites. Oppressive measures have failed to create a competitive regulated market Instead, however, the latest data cited by BOS has shown that only 57% of all players turn to the regulated market and that the channelization continues to be in steep decline. He explained this decline with the introduction of measures that limited player freedoms, prompting many to seek refuge with offshore gambling sites. This criticism was first published last Friday, and warned of the pernicious effects of adding more burden on the regulated sector, namely through the introduction of an increased tax on gambling which is now set at 22% as of July 1, 2024. Hoffstedt argued that just by focusing on keeping bad actors out, the state and regulators have failed to actually nurture and help the local industry develop. He criticized the failure of those in charge to pass not only restrictive laws, but also laws and measures that effective help the regulated and licensed industry to be more competitive, and actually have a fighting chance by being allowed to promote its own products. Without favorable marketing measures for the regulated sector, the high-handedness against offshore gambling companies has proven a waste of energy, effort, and strategic direction, BOS concluded. Image credit: Unsplash.com

02 JUL 2024

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