Swedish government calls for review of ‘excessive’ gambling advertising

Hosting a press conference, Sweden’s Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi has confirmed that the government will undertake a review of ‘aggressive marketing practices’ attached to licensed gambling incumbents.

The Swedish government has sanctioned the Gaming Market Commission – Spelmarknadsutredningen to carry out the review – assessing whether to implement new tools or restrictions on ‘overly aggressive’ marketing practices.

In its mandate, Spelmarknadsutredningen will be asked to consider whether the introduction of new ‘advertising control tools/functions’ will reduce harmful gambling.

The commission will further be asked to assess whether standard operator marketing functions such as bonuses, jackpots and free spins should be limited or restricted.

In addition, Spelmarknadsutredningen will be tasked with detailing regulatory guidance on the introduction of stricter controls on gambling advertising and marketing – assessing potential product bans and broadcast restrictions.

Addressing national media, Shekarabi stated that the Spelmarknadsutredningen review had been sanctioned to address concerns attached ‘excessive advertising, witnessed in Sweden’s newly reformed gambling marketplace’.

In previous updates, Shekarabi had warned licensed incumbents of excessive advertising, calling for betting leadership to present a responsible advertising roadmap.

Three months into Sweden’s new regulatory framework, concerns have arisen with regards to problem gambling controls and the gambling industry’s image.

This April, Svenska Spel Chief Executive Patrik Hofbauer ordered the state-owned operator to terminate all casino related advertising immediately.

Hofbauer branded industry advertising as unstainable, stating that Svenska Spel could not support the advertising a vertical labelled as the ‘most harmful for Swedish consumer’ by the Swedish Public Health Authority.

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