Following the confirmation that it had suspended all betting markets relating to the Division 2 Södra Svealand football league, Svenska Spel has revealed that it now ‘does not see any other solution’ to crack down on match-fixing other than to stop offering betting on said league.
A number of integrity monitoring bodies have estimated that ‘as many as 13’ matches are suspected to have been influenced by gambling activity, with Spelinspektionen calling for a blanket ban on offering odds on the league for all licensees in the market.
PR lead at Svenska Spel, Linnéa Hedberg, commented: “Svenska Spel is monitoring these leagues in the same way as we do with all leagues we offer betting upon. We act on the basis of a precautionary principle, look for deviating odds movements and stop offering betting in case there are strong evidence of match fixing. We also do not offer betting upon events that are easier to manipulate such as next corner or yellow card.
“With so many suspected games that the integrity of a whole league is to be question Svenska Spel does not see any other solution than to stop offering betting upon Division 2 Södra Svealand. We will also continue with all our other activities such as education, cooperation and monitoring in order to fight match fixing.”
When asked whether the operator would be suspending markets on other football leagues, Hedberg responded: “Not right now but we will continue monitoring all leagues we offer betting upon.”
As the market continues to implement compliance measures, numerous steps have been taken to ensure that operators remain within the country’s gambling laws, especially relating to match-fixing and wagering on games featuring under-18s.
Back in May, Swedish gambling watchdog Spelinspektionen issued a stark warning about the need to comply to current betting laws after a number of operators were found to be offering betting opportunities on football fixtures featuring players under the age of 18.
Swedish law strictly prohibits the wagering of bets on matches featuring players or athletes who are not yet of a legal gambling age – which is currently 18.
The game in question related to a match that had taken place between IFK Göteborg and AIK in Sweden’s top-tier club competition, Allsvenska.