The Moderate Party has demanded an end to Sweden's bonus limitations and the dissolution of the lottery monopoly Svenska Spel.
This year, the party tabled a legislative resolution in response to the government's own gaming reform measure.
Given that the Moderates are now the main opposition party, the proposal may show "what the party plans to do with the gaming policy in the case of a change in power," according to the BOS.
The party expressed support for regulated gambling, but conceded that "not everything went perfectly" when the Swedish market launched for business in January 2019.
As a result, the Moderates supported a number of the government's initiatives, such as the licencing requirement for B2B software suppliers intended to curb illicit gaming. In safeguarding the licenced market, the party wished to "go farther than the government."
A assessment of the government's power to amend the regulations for operators by regulation – which would not require a vote in the Riksdag – rather than legislation was deemed essential. These regulations included a monthly deposit restriction of SEK5,000 (£403/€471/$492) for internet casinos, which was met with significant hostility from the industry.
“A market such as gaming needs long-term conditions and clear rules of the game rather than quick throws of the dice,” the party said. “Therefore, the government’s regulatory possibilities should be reviewed.”
Bonuses were one area that the Moderate Party specifically requested to be reviewed. Currently, clients may only receive these perks once upon registration. The party observed that the government's planned reform law would include an exemption for charitable lotteries and argued that the regulations should be relaxed for everyone.
“This would make it easier for gaming companies to retain customers in the licensed market and have long-term relationships with the players, both of which increase consumer protection,” the party said.
In addition, the Moderates advocated for the division of Svenska Spel, the state-owned lottery operator, into a lottery company and a firm that offers legal games such as sports betting and online casino gambling. According to the statement, the firm operating in the permitted premises should thereafter be sold to the private sector.
Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary general of BOS, centred his remarks on this part of the proposal, noting that the Swedish Democrats have likewise supported the dissolution of Svenska Spel and privatisation of its licenced offering. Consequently, both of the country's two major opposition parties now support the strategy.
“I welcome the fact that the two largest parties in opposition now have been so clear about their intention to privatise the competitive part of state operator Svenska Spel, if they will form or support a new government after September’s general elections,” he said. “To run a commercial gambling business is not appropriate for a state.
“A state shall set rules for commercial gambling companies and make sure the companies comply with these rules, rather than being an active player on the market itself.”
In the meanwhile, the Moderates rejected the concept of introducing a need for "adjusted moderation" in all gaming marketing activities in response to a particular suggestion in the government measure. The party stated that it was "too soon" to make reforms in this sector, and that tighter marketing regulations "threatens to erode" the regulated market.
Lastly, the party requested that the government and the Ministry of Finance execute the reforms advocated in a study issued last year by Gunnar Larsson, director general of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce.
The most crucial of the report's suggestions to prevent match-fixing and illegal play was a shift in attitude toward offshore operators.
The research recommended that the Gaming Act applies to all gambling available to Swedes, not only that which is intended at Swedish players. Therefore, operators without local licences would be compelled to essentially prohibit Swedish clients.
By fLEXI tEAM