New marketing guidelines issued in Sweden

The Swedish Gambling Association (SPER) and the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS) has released new “moderate” marketing and advertising codes in Sweden.

The Swedish flag

Two trade associations have introduced guidelines for gambling advertising in Sweden. © Pixabay.

Swedish operators will have to adhere to the new nine-point code of conduct issued this week.

The code comes after a period of sustained pressure on operators regarding their advertising and marketing practices. Minister for Civil Affairs, Ardalan Shekarabi, has led that charge, repeatedly calling for stricter regulation of the way the gambling industry can advertise in Sweden.

Speaking at a meeting in February, Shekarabi had warned operators about reducing their marketing and issued a deadline of the end of March, before government would intervene.

Advertising guidelines in Sweden were previously open to interpretation, with operators bound only to advertise “in moderation”.

Both the SPER and the BOS had criticised the Swedish government over the lack of clarity towards the rules around gambling advertising. With the new code, the groups said their aim is that “marketing shall not encourage excessive gambling among consumers”.

However, the BOS have warned against an advertising ban being floated by the Swedish government. Speaking about that, Gustaf Hoffstedt, CEO of the BOS, said:

Why should licensed operators that pay Swedish gambling tax and comply with Swedish regulation continue to do so if their strongest advantage compared to the unlicensed operators – the possibility to advertise in national media – is taken away from them.Gustaf Hoffstedt, BOS CEO

The guidelines can be amended by both associations on an ongoing basis and will act as adjudicators in the face of any violations by their members. Violations can also be forwarded to the Swedish Advertising Ombudsman, the Swedish Consumer Agency and the Swedish Gambling Authority.

Public opinion is well behind at least a reduction in the amount of gambling adverts. A study by Kantar Sifo found that nine in ten Swedes believed there to be too many gambling adverts. Over three-quarters of those surveyed supported stricter regulation of gambling advertising.

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