SBC News Sweden's Moderate Party to lead coalition duties on gambling agenda

Sweden’s Moderate Party to lead coalition duties on gambling agenda

Sweden’s General Election concluded on Wednesday afternoon, as a coalition led by the Swedish Democrat Party (SD), secured a historic victory. 

The outcome took three days to declare, as the General Election that took place on Sunday 11 October last year had registered a near 50/50 split on initial exit poll ballots.

On Wednesday, conclusive results were announced as the four-party centre-right wing coalition of the Swedish Democrats (SD), Liberal, Christian Democrats and Moderate Party won 176 seats.

Declared victors by three seats ahead of the 173 result secured by the governing left-wing coalition of the Social Democrats, Sweden’s conservative parties will form a new government.

Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson has been announced as Sweden’s new PM, who will replace incumbent Magdalena Andersson, who resigned on Thursday conceding defeat.

Undertaking Sweden’s first change of government since 2014, consequences are likely to proceed on the regulatory development of gambling.

The centre-right coalition will be tasked with finalising ‘stage-2’ of the planned reform of Sweden’s online gambling marketplace, which relaunched in 2019.

The recommendations of Spelmarknadsutredningen (gambling market inquiry) were published in 2021, in which the report called for a specific licensing regime for software suppliers and online casino game developers.

Further recommendations urged the government to toughen advertising safeguards, in which it was recommended that Sweden apply a 06.00 to 21.00 block on the advertising of online casinos.

The parties forming the new government have outlined their interests on amending Sweden’s gambling laws to differing degrees.

In its campaign mandate, the Moderate Party – which holds the coalition’s second biggest bloc – outlined plans to split Svenska Spel, Sweden’s state-owned gambling operator into two separate business entities for ‘monopoly gaming’ (lottery and keno) and ‘competitive gaming’ (gambling units and sports betting). 

The Moderate Party has favoured the sale of Svenska Spel’s ‘competitive gaming business, stating that the government should have no interest in a gambling company.  

Further desired reforms include the Moderate Party demand that constitutional safeguards be applied to Sweden’s Gambling Act, requiring governments to secure Riksdag approval to change gambling laws.

Reforms outlined by the Moderate Party, have been supported by the Christian Democrats who favour an overhaul of Sweden’s restaurant casino sector, in which it stated that casino venues had no duty of care to observe Swedish gambling’s AML rules.

Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), Sweden’s online gambling trade association commented to SBC  – “It is reasonable to expect that a possible sale of AB Svenska Spel’s subsidiary Sport & Casino will be higher on the agenda because both the Moderates and the Sweden Democrats, who are both part of the new majority, have advocated just that.”

“It is also reasonable to expect that the tightening of gambling marketing proposed by the outgoing government, so-called “adjusted moderation”, will be more difficult to win the Riksdag’s approval.”

“And maybe we can also hope for a somewhat more liberal bonus regulation for betting and casino products, but we don’t know much about that yet.”

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