Date: 14.05.2024

by Adam Dworak

Sweden Intensifies Fight Against Match-Fixing in Sports Betting

Sweden introduces new measures to combat match-fixing within its sports wagering scene. This initiative was recently announced by Niklas Wykman, Sweden’s Minister for Financial Markets, alongside Camila Rosenborg, the Director General of Spelinspektionen, Sweden’s gambling regulator.

sweden

The fresh regulations, set to be enforced starting July 1, stem from a nearly year-long governmental initiative that has seen full backing from Spelinspektionen. These measures aim to enhance the exchange of information among relevant stakeholders and establish a unified front against match-fixing activities that tarnish the integrity of sports.

Minister Wykman stressed the gravity of the situation, saying, “Match-fixing fattens the gangs at the same time as, among other things, harm is done to youth sports. Athletes should not be pawns in the activities of organized crime.”

Details of the New Regulations

The cornerstone of these new regulations is an amendment to Chapter 17, section 8 of the Swedish Gambling Act of 2018. It will permit licensed operators to access personal data of players under suspicion of involvement in match-fixing.

However, such access is to be granted only under exceptional circumstances, where the information directly relates to the event wagered upon, or can reveal the specific amount wagered by the player.

Furthermore, the law mandates immediate flagging of any play that exhibits suspicious or unusual betting patterns, closely scrutinizing them for potential match-fixing links. An example of such a scenario is a tennis match where a deviance in the number of double faults for one player might trigger an investigation.

Sweden’s Ongoing Battle Against Match-Fixing

This move is part of Sweden’s ongoing efforts to preserve the integrity of its sports industry, which has been increasingly vulnerable to match-fixing. Notably, in September 2021, the Swedish Football Association (FA) took decisive action by suspending four players linked to match-fixing allegations, with bans ranging from four to seven years.

These players were found guilty of betting on outcomes in which they were directly involved, including bets on receiving penalties during games.

Industry Support for the Legislative Changes

The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (Branschforeningen for Onlinespel, BOS) has expressed strong support for the new measures.

Gustaf Hoffstedt, Secretary General of BOS, highlighted the challenges posed by GDPR and other privacy laws that previously hindered cooperation between betting companies and sports associations. “The government wants to remove that obstacle, and it is, of course, something that we, from the industry’s side, welcome,” Hoffstedt remarked.

He also emphasized that enhanced opportunities for information exchange between betting companies and sports federations have already begun to yield positive results in the fight against match-fixing.

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