Patrik Hofbauer, chief executive of Swedish lottery and gaming operator Svenska Spel, said he welcomed the country’s new gaming law, but warned the industry now needs a period of stability rather than further regulatory change.
Earlier this week, the government published its final version of a major gambling reform bill, which was first proposed in January.
Hofbauer said that the new updated law helped to address a number of the “gaps” in the initial Gambling Act that came into force at the start of 2019.
“The proposal focuses on consumer protection and a sustainable gaming market, which is positive,” he said. “I perceive it as if the policy has listened to all important stakeholders along the way and has formulated constructive proposals and adjustments based on this.
“There are gaps in the law and the proposed reinforcements are important for the benefit of serious licensed players and make it harder for illegal gambling. The balance between these is mainly good in the government’s proposal.”
As a result, he said he now hoped to see the legislature pass the law.
“A long process is behind us and now it is up to all parties in the Riksdag to make a wise decision,” he said.
However, Hofbauer also warned that the industry has already faced a number of changes since the launch of the online market, and that too many changes could end up being harmful.
“The time since re-regulation in 2019 has been marked by a number of regulatory changes, also as a result of the pandemic,” he added. “It is important that the gaming legislation now has a chance to settle down and that the industry has time to learn lessons from everything that has happened from supervision, to judgments and yet another new law.
“As an industry, we now need peace of mind. Adapting the business to new laws and regulations is demanding. Measures are necessary, but excessive jerking creates ambiguity for both consumers and gaming companies. This is even though we look forward to the law being updated to close gaps in the law.”
On the other hand, he also argued that when it comes to match-fixing, there is need for further changes in the law.
“We still lack a measures to get a tougher grip on match-fixing and some other essential parts, including the processing of personal data, which would make the gaming laws more complete,” Hofbauer added. “Our call to the government is to speed up that work in order to bring about measures that slow down negative developments when it comes to match-fixing.”
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