The gambling regulator in Sweden, Spelinspektionen has said that operators need to do more in providing information about gambling-related harm along with links to the Swedish self-exclusion scheme Spelpaus on their sites.
The criticism follows an inspection of licensed operators carried out last autumn. Although the regulator said some improvements had occurred since the last survey in 2019, which was published in April last year, more work was still required from operators, with further regulatory action not ruled out.
The regulator reminded licensees of their responsibility to ensure that they keep up to date with all new regulatory requirements.
The report showed that most of the sites reviewed showed responsible gambling logos for both logged-out and logged-in mode, along with enough references to an independent gambling helpline, both of which represent improvements from the findings of previous reports.
The regulator emphasised that these features are of huge importance for consumer protection and that all websites that are licensed for online gaming should meet these requirements. But it also said that many of the websites were lacking in information about the licensee. Several did not even have a telephone number and email address listed.
Among the other concerns highlighted by the report was the fact that many of the websites also lacked information concerning licence durations, and failed to mention that Spelinspektionen serves both as a supervisory and a licencing authority.
There was also some major shortcomings identified with regard to gambling risk. The regulator has reminded operators that information on the specific risks of gambling along with concrete examples of the negative consequences of gambling should be provided.
In addition, operators needed to do more in providing links to Sweden’s self-exclusion scheme, Spelpaus. A marketing campaign to promote the scheme was launched in June 2020, after Spelinspektionen reported that player awareness of the system was limited.
The Spelpaus scheme has in fact been live since January 2019, coinciding with the launch of the Swedish online gambling market. Suspensions through the Spelpaus scheme can last for one, three or six months, or can be applied on an indefinite basis.