Gambling operators in Sweden’s regulated market have been warned about their responsibilities to provide fair conditions for their customers.
The Swedish consumer affairs regulator, Konsumentverket, has put out a public warning to all licensed online gambling operators after a recent review. The agency claimed that it had found what it described as ‘numerous shortcomings’ having undertaken a full review of terms and conditions across the sector, through analysing 13 operators who were picked at random.
The operators that were reviewed by Konsumentverket included AG Communications, Blue Star Planet, Ellmount Gaming, Genesis Global, MOA Gaming Sweden, Smarkets, Svenska Spel, Interwetten and Zecure Gaming.
In discussing their findings, Konsumentverket said that it had discovered significant failings in operators’ websites that were related to a range of issues, including withdrawal restrictions, ID and verification rules, unclear promotions, liability disclaimers and inconsistent terms of play. The agency discovered that in total, eleven firms had applied what they described as ‘contract terms’ on customer registration but had not disclosed in full what documentation those same customers are required to provide in order to be fully verified.
The agency also found that four operators referred to terms used by foreign regulators that related to the website’s conditions of play and customer care duties. Three companies also said that a foreign court would take the lead on adjudicating any player disputes. Finally, the agency said that they were concerned over six firms who had applied contract terms that effectively limited the consumers right to take out money from their accounts.
In response to the findings, Konsumentverket has demanded that all operators immediately examine and take steps to update their terms and conditions. The agency has also sent the findings of its results to the Swedish Gambling Inspectorate, Spelinspektionen and to the national gambling trade association, Branschforeningen for Onlinespel (BOS). The agency has also indicated that it would be revisiting the issue in future to monitor progress:
“The Swedish Consumer Agency intends to follow up the current review to see how the gaming companies have taken into account the assessments made in the current memorandum. Such a follow-up may take place in the form of individual supervisory matters.”