BOS Backs Proposal to Equalize AML Fines with Gambling Act Violations
The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS) has weighed in on the proposed amendments to the Money Laundering Act introduced by the Swedish Ministry of Finance.
These changes would bring Anti-Money Laundering (AML) violations in line with penalties stipulated in the Gambling Act, potentially increasing fines for such infractions.
Gustaf Hoffstedt, BOS Secretary General, began by highlighting the association’s representation of approximately twenty gambling companies actively operating in the Swedish gambling market. This distinction makes BOS the largest trade association in Sweden within the industry, with all of its members holding licenses or permits issued by Spelinspektionen.
Hoffstedt conveyed BOS’s support for the proposal, asserting that AML violations should not be downgraded alongside other infractions. Instead, they consider AML violations to be among the most serious offenses within the gambling sector.
However, Hoffstedt also expressed concerns about the potential challenges that could arise if courts lean in favor of gambling companies during sanction decisions. He emphasized the importance of maintaining the quality of the Swedish Gambling Authority’s initial sanction decisions to mitigate this issue.
Significance of Basing Penalty Charges for AML Breaches
Furthermore, BOS stressed the need for sanction fees to align with the financial stability and credibility of the gambling industry, echoing recommendations made in the “Actions against match-fixing and unlicensed gambling operations (Ds 2021:29)” inquiry.
Lastly, BOS underscored the significance of basing penalty charges for AML breaches, as well as Gambling Act violations, on Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR). They pointed out that the Ministry of Finance also emphasizes this approach in their memorandum. This change is advocated because the current penalty fees, calculated based on total turnover, have resulted in disproportionately high fees for companies.
In conclusion, BOS lends its support to the proposal to bring AML fines in line with Gambling Act violations, emphasizing the gravity of AML violations within the industry. Their concerns about court decisions and calls for proportionate sanction fees underscore their commitment to fairness and balance in the regulatory framework.