Sweden’s BOS criticises regulator’s proposals to combat match fixing

Sweden’s online gambling trade association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) has criticised the regulator’s proposals to prohibit operators from offering certain markets on individual performance.

Yesterday, Spelinspektionen revealed that it had drafted proposals, currently awaiting review, which would mean that betting operators must not offer betting markets on ‘a rule violation or loss in parts’. For example, an operator would not be allowed to offer bets on whether a football player should receive a yellow card or if a tennis player will make double fault.

In a statement, BOS argued that the introduction on such legislation would prevent the regulator from effectively being able to police betting corruption, and would in fact ‘hand over important parts of the market to unlicensed gaming companies’.

Gustaf Hoffstedt, BOS secretary general, explained: “Of course, it is unfortunate if you open the door in this way for a decriminalization of the manipulation of sports events. Spelinspektionen should, on the contrary, guard the games from cheating and pursue new opportunities to combat match fixing.

“The rhetoric is that the new regulations should prevent match fixing, but in reality it prepares its way. When you rob Swedish-licensed gaming companies of having complete betting portfolios, you hand over important parts of the market to unlicensed gaming companies. To contribute to the decriminalization of some manipulation of sporting events is to ask for intensified problems with match fixing.”

During 2019, Swedish betting leadership urged Spelinspektionen to provide definition and clarification on market wagering restrictions, as the inspectorate fined multiple licensed operators for offering betting markets on ‘the individual performances of under-18 players during football matches’.