Sweden’s ATG Urges Stronger Measures Against Illegal Gambling Market

Aktiebolaget Trav och Galopp (ATG), a Swedish gambling operator, has demanded more aggressive measures to combat the illicit gaming sector. ATG has released a new study that shows a concerning decline in the channelization rate, prompting questions about the efficacy of the laws as they stand.

According to ATG’s Q1 report, the channelization rate has decreased to between 68% and 81%, reflecting player migration to the legal market. Compared to the 69% to 82% range reported in Q4 2023, this is a drop. According to the survey, Sweden’s unlicensed market is estimated to be worth SEK3.7 billion to SEK7.4 billion each year. In addition, since 2019, online traffic to unlicensed operators has increased tenfold.

None of the top 20 sites with the highest traffic during the quarter were on the regulator’s prohibition list. ATG noted that 18 out of these 20 sites use the same platform providers as licensed operators.

Call for Regulatory Changes

ATG CEO Hasse Lord Skarplöth expressed deep concern over these developments, calling for a revision of Swedish regulations on illegal gaming. He stressed the need to make it illegal for unlicensed companies to operate in Sweden, regardless of targeting criteria.

Skarplöth said, “The prohibition on promotion and targeting criteria clearly do not serve as protection for the most vulnerable groups and to achieve good channelling. It is time to do exactly what the two latest inquiries by Håkan Hallstedt and Gunnar Larsson have proposed, namely to make it illegal to offer unlicensed gambling in Sweden regardless of targeting criteria.”

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The increase in traffic to unlicensed operators is a significant issue for the legal market. Despite the existing regulations that make it illegal for unlicensed operators to market gaming products towards players, these measures seem insufficient. ATG’s report emphasizes the need for more stringent laws to protect the legal market and its players.

The findings underscore the importance of regulatory bodies taking more decisive actions to curb the influence of unlicensed operators. Without such measures, the legal market may continue to face challenges in channelizing players effectively, potentially undermining the protection for the most vulnerable groups in society.

ATG’s report and Skarplöth’s statements highlight a critical issue within the Swedish gambling market. As the debate on how to handle unlicensed operators continues, the call for stronger regulations and enforcement becomes more urgent. The implementation of recommendations from inquiries by Håkan Hallstedt and Gunnar Larsson could be a significant step toward achieving better channelization and safeguarding players.

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