Sweden is keeping an eye on the introduction of business-to-business gaming licences. The country’s supervisory authority, the The Swedish Gaming Authority, hoping that this measure would reduce illegal gambling. However, there are some concerns about the actual impact the permits may have on channelization.
Sweden is considering permits for B2B companies
The supervisory authority’s idea is as follows: if Sweden requires B2B companies to obtain a permit before entering the country, this would help to reduce illegal gambling. Basically, it would allow the Swedish Gambling Authority to remove the licenses from suppliers who offer their products through illegal operators, ensuring a healthier market.
The gaming industry seems to support the idea. Gustaf Hoffstedt from The industry association for online games (BOS), a Swedish trade union representing over twenty operators, said his association is not opposed to B2B licenses. However, BOS is somewhat doubtful that the measure would be as effective in curbing illegal gambling as the Gambling Authority expects.
In addition, Hoffstedt pointed out that the measure could have an unwanted negative effect on companies that receive Swedish customers but do not actively target the market. He reminded that Sweden allows many unlicensed B2C companies to take bets from Swedish customers, as long as they do not market their products to Swedes. Hoffstedt concluded that he hopes the introduction of B2B permits will improve channelization by at least one or two percent.
If Sweden approves licenses for B2B suppliers, the measure would come into force from July 1 next year. The Swedish Gaming Authority is likely to open applications earlier, with March 1 as a possible start date.
Umbrella permits can alleviate the administrative nightmares
After explaining BOS’s general approach to B2B permits, Hoffstedt moved on to talk about potential complications. He pointed out that the law does not currently offer umbrella permits. Because of that, as it is now, large suppliers with many different subsidiaries would have to submit many applications. This in turn would likely cause unnecessary administrative burdens.
Because of that, Hoffstedt believes legalizing umbrella permits is highly desirable to avoid “administrative nightmares.” He asked the regulator to find a way to make umbrella permits happen.
The current bill will also introduce minor changes that will take effect on January 1. You can read more about the game reforms here.
At the same time, Sweden continues to thoroughly regulate its market and punish companies that do not comply. Two weeks ago the Spelinspektionen did fine ATG for failing to comply with certain AML rules. Several days before that, the regulator banned SG International from the country.