Sweden mulls higher penalties for Money Launder Act breaches

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Set out in a memorandum published today (19 June), the proposal would adjust penalties to the same maximum amount for violations of the Gambling Act.

At present, the maximum operators can be fined for breaching the Money Laundering Act is much lower than Gambling Act violations. The memorandum said this is “unsatisfactory” as in many cases, violations of the Money Laundering Act can be considered more serious than those related to the Gambling Act.

“An effective system for measures against money laundering is central to countering organised crime,” Minister of Financial Markets Niklas Wykman said. “The gaming market is a sector with a high risk of money laundering. 

“The proposal provides better opportunities to combat criminal activity in connection with gambling.”

In addition, the memorandum set out proposals for a written requirement to be introduced for telephone sales of gambling. 

This would mean customers would only legally be able to take part in this form of gambling after accepting a set of written terms. Any agreement not been entered into in accordance with the writing requirement would be deemed void.

Should the memorandum be approved, the proposed changes would come into effect on 1 April 2024.

Supplier licence fees

The proposals come as Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen also announced it is to obligate owners of supplier licences to pay fees from 1 July.

Spelinspektionen will charge the organisation which holds a licence to supply gaming software to operators in Sweden a fixed fee. The regulator requires businesses to pay a separate fee for each licence it holds unless it receives a specific exemption.

If – due to “special events” – the fee amount does not cover the cost of the supervision, the regulator may charge a variable fee to cover the excess.

In other news, a new report by Sweden’s Online Gaming Industry Association (BOS) revealed 77% of Sweden’s online gaming market is channelised. The report said that this percentage is “critically low”.

Sweden’s channelisation goal – the percentage of licensed gaming offerings it wishes to have on the market – is currently set at 90%.

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