Finansdepartementet – Sweden’s Ministry of Finance – has initiated an inquiry into the rules of party political lotteries, following concerns about the transparency of political funding.
The Ministry outlined that its investigation would focus on “options to tighten party political lottery rules, strengthen consumer protections, and consider whether to grant licences for such lotteries.”
Former civic ombudsman and Director-General of the Swedish Consumer Agency, Gunnar Larsson, will lead the review, which must provide its findings by 29 February 2024.
The inquiry’s summary noted that “several parties in the Riksdag conduct lottery activities, which has attracted criticism in public debate” – with party lotteries exempt from credit card bans, bonus restrictions, and gambling tax.
The inquiry will assess if the specific rules for lotteries benefiting political parties are justifiable and suitable and will consider possible regulatory changes to improve consumer protections.
The Ministry highlighted the importance of openness and transparency in party lotteries, especially in financing political parties, and maintaining a “high level of trust in the political system.”
Further directives will explore the potential requirement for a full declaration of funding from lottery games and exemptions that have been granted for playing lottery draws.
The inquiry will solely focus on the use of lotteries for funding political parties, and will exclude other activities such as charitable, social, artistic and cultural causes.
“Transparency about party funding strengthens democracy. Everyone should be able to have good insight into how party political activities are financed, and feel secure that parties operate on equal terms,” Finansdepartementet explained.
“Reviewing this regulation is fundamentally about safeguarding public confidence in the political system.”