Svenska Spel accused of violating Sweden’s gambling ad rules


svenska-spel-sweden-gambling-advertising-violationSweden’s international online gambling licensees have referred the state-run former gambling monopoly Svenska Spel to the country’s media watchdog for promoting its products without including responsible gambling messaging.

On Monday, the Branschföreningen för onlinespel (BOS) trade group representing Sweden’s independent online gambling licensees filed a complaint with the Granskningsnämnden media regulator regarding Svenska Spel promoting its Triss, Keno and Lotto products via TV morning shows and other family-friendly programs.

A morning show on broadcaster TV4 includes a regular spot in which guests are invited to play Svenska Spel lottery products, including scratch cards. While the guests are quizzed as to what they’ll do if they strike it rich, BOS notes that these segments don’t include any responsible gambling messaging, as required under the country’s new regulated market rules.

BOS referred to the segments as “clearly promotional” in nature, given the prominence in which Svenska Spel’s product logos are displayed. BOS further notes that Svenska Spel hasn’t denied that it compensates the broadcasters for airing the segments, despite that fact going unmentioned on-air.

This is the second complaint BOS has filed against Svenska Spel since the January 1 launch of Sweden’s new regulated market. BOS previously accused Svenska Spel of marketing its new online casino products to its land-based customer database, a perk unavailable to the market’s new international licensees.

Last month, BOS filed a complaint with the Swedish Competition Authority against the state-run pool betting monopoly AB Trav Och Galopp (ATG), which has yet to allow Sweden’s international online gambling licensees access to its betting pools. This refusal is all the more outrageous given that ATG has branched out into online casino and sports betting following the new market’s launch.

BOS General Secretary Gustaf Hoffstedt said it was time that all Swedish licensees, but especially the state-run firms, “realize that the old rules of the monopoly market are over.” But despite having nearly 60 online competitors, preliminary statistics have shown ATG and Svenska Spel dominating Sweden’s new online market.

This week, BOS welcomed online race and sports betting operator Legolas.Bet as its latest member, bringing BOS membership to 22 firms.