Date: 27.05.2024

by Kajetan Sawicz

Swedish Trade Association Challenges Proposed Credit Card Ban for Gambling

The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS) has officially voiced its opposition to the proposed ban on the use of credit cards for gambling.

BOS’s Stance on Credit Gambling

In a detailed statement to the Ministry of Finance, Hoffstedt emphasized the risk of pushing consumers away from the legal market, which is governed by strict regulations and consumer protections.

He stated, “In the name of consumer protection, Sweden should not add new restrictions on consumers that still place their bets on the legal gambling market.”

Proposed Alternative by BOS

BOS suggests an alternative approach if the government proceeds with the ban. Rather than imposing responsibilities on gambling operators, the association recommends placing the onus on credit card issuaries.

This model would task the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) with ensuring that credit card issuers do not process payments for gambling companies, particularly those operating without proper licenses.

Rationale Behind BOS’s Rejection

The association supports measures to prevent gambling on credit but argues against a complete ban on credit card use, which remains a regulated payment method. Hoffstedt notes, “At least one credit check is conducted before issuing a credit card, and in most cases, credit is repaid monthly, accruing no interest.”

He further highlighted the declining trend in credit card use for gambling, with many consumers opting for alternative payment methods like Swish.

Concerns Over Unlicensed Gambling

The dominance of unlicensed gambling platforms is a significant concern for BOS, exacerbated by stringent restrictions on licensed operators.

Hoffstedt points out the adverse effects of such policies, stating, “Restrictive measures against licensed operators…have led to a significant outflow from the legal gambling market. This must end.” He advocates for policies that enhance the attractiveness of the licensed market to effectively regulate the industry.

BOS also expressed concern about the government’s approach to exempt state-owned or controlled gambling operators from these new restrictions, which could potentially undermine competitive neutrality and erode consumer confidence in the regulated market.