According to the Spelinspektionen, the national gambling regulator, so far, there are more than thirty-thousand people who signed up to be members of the self-exclusion registry of Sweden, the Spelpaus.se. The registry made its debut on the first of January, which coincided with the official launch of the newly- regulated Swedish market. The scheme enables the Swedish players to block themselves from entering any gambling services that have a license to operate in Sweden. It also gives them the ability to opt out of all marketing campaigns by the licensed operators and online casino sites.
The self-exclusion register is active across a wide array of casino establishments. It includes slot machines lotteries, online casino as well as bingo halls and retail stores. So it covers all sorts of gambling activities and venues, as long as they acquired a license to work legally in the Swedish market. The gambling operators who wanted to earn a permit had to integrate with the Spelpaus.se. The Spelinspektionen also made it clear that any operator who fails to do this will face punishment, which can include fines, as well as losing their license.
There are many licensed operators that the Spelinspektionen singled out as a result of failing to comply with such requirement. Last month, Paf Consulting and Genesis Gaming received a fine because a number of their consumers who report to the regulator that they signed up for the self-exclusion, but they were still able to access and gamble on websites that Genesis Gaming and Paf Consulting operate.
Genesis received a fine of four million SEK for breaching a license condition, despite receiving a warning about such activities by the Swedish Regulator. In its defense, Genesis Gaming stated that it integrated with the registry, and claimed that the problem is a result of a 3rd party system failure. Paf Consulting, which is the subsidiary of a Åland Islands operator also received a fine for failure to self exclude players. The penalty was equal to SEK100,000. The program also won a case in court in which the Linköping Administrative Court ruled that the Swedish players will not be able to end the self-exclusion before the initial self-exclusion period is over. The ruling was a result of a challenge that a player raised as they attempted to remove themselves from the national exclusion database before they finish the self-exclusion period. The court stated that if players get the chance to cancel their self-exclusion period, it is going to undermine the primary purpose of the program.
In related news, the leading gambling trade associations in Sweden, the SPER (Spelbranschens Riksförbund) and the BOS (Branschföreningen för Onlinespe) have set out a set of new codes of conduct that will help members tackle the concerns regarding excessive marketing and advertisements in the new market. The new code of conduct will help its members adopt the new self-regulatory controls on the 1st of April. It is a response to the concerns of the Minister for Consumer Affairs regarding the aggressive and excessive nature of the advertisements.
Bonnie Trelane is a professional author with a background in igaming and modeling. Bonnie plays Blackjack at many of the prominent casinos in the U.S. and has a fondness for Caesars owned casinos.