The Swedish online gaming association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) submits its advisory opinion to the Ministry of Justice regarding the research into the gaming product consumer protection. The investigation titled “Strengthened consumer protection against risky lending and over-indebtedness” is designed to help the competent ministry tailor further measures to provide a safe gambling environment in the jurisdiction.
Debt Register Proposed To Track Indebtedness:
BOS uses the investigation to propose a stricter regulatory framework that will ban third parties promoting the credit approval scheme for operators to be granted to consumers to continue gambling. The body also suggests that Sweden should establish a debt register to be able to track any loans pending for too long or being additionally increased. In this way, the lawmakers, regulators, and associations would be able to track the debtor and check their prospective deposits with online operators for any loans granted to players to continue spending money on gambling.
According to the press release, the investigation was carried out to examine the market for consumer credit and propose the measures to combat risky gambling practices, particularly lending money for gambling purposes and the resulting excessive consumer indebtedness. The investigation reportedly also assessed market conditions that may be a driver for the risky consumer behaviors such as the involvement of the parties that offer and grant credit to consumers that do not have money to pay for additional gambling activities.
Advisory Opinion Submitted to Government:
BOS conducted a study to come up with the advisory opinion on 16 October 2023. Based on the findings, the association proposed the introduction of more stringent regulations and a debt register. The body also assessed other measures to be tailored to help the existing debtors repay their debts. The assessment reportedly included the option to approve more favorable conditions to the currently over-indebted people to clear their gambling debt records.
BOS is optimistic about the proposals resulting from the investigation and the impact they will have on the gaming market. Gustaf Hoffstedt reportedly commented: ”It is in the interest of the licensed gambling companies that gambling consumers do not spend more money than they can afford. Games must offer excitement, joy and entertainment in safe and secure forms. Gambling should not lead to financial worry or vulnerability. Our member companies have no interest in directly or through agents encouraging their customers to gamble on credit. Therefore, we welcome the proposals in the investigation that have bearing on the gambling market.