Sweden’s gambling regulator, the Spelinspektionen, has taken direct action against 23 unlicensed Curaçao-based online operators deemed to be illegally targeting the country’s regulated market.
The inspectorate has informed its Swedish counterpart authorities and financial institutions of the 23 Curaçao-based businesses and their related websites, which are undertaking gambling activities deemed as illegal, reports Curaçao Chronicle.
The public disclosure of illegal businesses now forms part of the body’s new strategy against black market actors operating on Sweden’s regulated market. In line with this, the inspectorate was granted new powers to launch direct investigations last October, as well as given the ability to enforce actions against illegal or non-compliant businesses.
As a result of the new remit, the Spelinkspektionen can now directly collaborate with the Swedish Consumer Agency and Finansinspektionen (FCA), Sweden’s Tax Agency, to bolster enforcement actions and penalties.
The inspectorate has now ordered Swedish authorities to impose direct IP bans and payment injunctions on the online properties of the 23 businesses found to be operating in an illegal manner. The safeguarding and protection of the country’s regulated online market are set to be key criteria of upcoming stage-2 amendments of Sweden’s reformed Gambling Law, reports local media.
Earlier this week, it was announced the Swedish regulator had ordered Curaçao-based Nero Media to stop targeting players in the market with immediate effect. The Spelinspektionen had launched an investigation on Nero’s Goodwincasino brand over suspicions that it was taking bets from local players without a license.
The investigation revealed that the brand was offering its services in Swedish and targeting players through marketing activity while not having controls to block customers in the country from registering to gamble.
While the country’s Gambling Act prevents unlicensed operators from targeting Swedish customers, operators passively accepting bets with no Swedish language option, local currency or marketing support are not considered as targeting the market. This, however, might change if recommendations set out by the Swedish government in a report are to be adopted.
Other Curaçao-based operators found responsible for targeting the Swedish market include Cerberlot, Digi Markets and Indigo Soft. Cerberlot and Digi Markets were hit with an injunction in May, while Indigo Soft faced one in October.
In other recent news, this November, the Swedish government ordered the regulator to end a temporary enforcement of online casino restrictions imposed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in an effort to protect the public from excessive gambling during the lockdowns.
These have now been lifted on the condition that the Spelinkspektionen provide an assessment of its mandatory €480 weekly deposit limit on online casino to the Minister for Social Security, Ardalan Shekarabi.
The enforcement update follows the publication of the regulator’s latest market report, which revealed that Swedish gambling revenues have increased by 5% to $701 million.