The majority of Swedes support the introduction of restrictions on the way gambling products are advertised across Swedish media, a recent survey shows
Sweden’s new gambling law took effect on January 1, 2019, opening the local gambling market to international online gambling operators. Internationally licensed companies have long targeted Swedish gaming and betting customers, but they can now operate in a regulated environment with a license by the local gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen (formerly Lotteriinspektionen).
According to a recent report by the Swedish Institute for Opinion Surveys (SIFO), nine out of ten Swedes believe that there is far too much gambling advertising across Swedish media. The research house interviewed 1,153 people for the purpose of its survey.
Of all respondents, 87% said there is far to much gambling advertising. Around 76% of all interviewed individuals said that the current rules for advertising of gambling products across Swedish media should be tightened.
Responding to a question whether gambling advertising should be banned, 53% of all interviewed Swedes said that they believe so.
At present, gambling companies are able to advertise their products across Swedish television and other media under the country’s newly implemented gambling law. However, it should be noted that international operators had massive presence across Swedish media even prior to the enforcement of the new rules.
According to a report by local research firm Kantar Sifo, two unlicensed gambling operators were among the nation’s top advertisers in 2017. Kindred Group and LeoVegas, which are currently both licensed to operate in the Scandinavian country, invested a combined of nearly $100 million into advertising their products to Swedish customers in the twelve months ended December 31, 2017.
Swedish Minister Calls for Restrictions
The results of Sifo’s survey were released in the wake of comments made by Sweden’s Minister for Civil Affairs Ardalan Shekarabi that tighter gambling advertising rules might be in the making.
Minister Shekarabi told local news outlet SVT that the government would not tolerate excessive marketing and that further restrictions could be introduced so that Swedish people are not overexposed to gambling.
The official further pointed out that there apparently is frustration with how gambling products are marketed across media and that in his view, advertising should be moderate and socially responsible.
Minister Shekarabi went on to say that they have just gained control of the Swedish gambling market after two decades during which the space had been a literal Wild West and rules had not applied to all companies servicing Swedish customers, and that the possibility for the introduction of further restrictions was under serious consideration.
The Swedish Minister for Civil Affairs has summoned the 69 licensed gambling companies for a meeting on February 14, during which their marketing activities will be discussed.
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