The Swedish trade association for online gambling, Branschforeningen for Onlinespel(BOS), announced that it supports a government initiative to increase the fines for violations of anti-money laundering laws.
The proposal BOS has responded to – , which was originally floated by Ministry of Finance in June would see fines for companies who fail to prevent money laundering raised to the level of the fines for breaking the Gambling Act.
The Riksdag, Sweden’s legislative body, must approve the memorandum before it can become law. The law will take effect if the parliament approves it on 1 April 2024.
BOS stated that it approves of the proposal because of the seriousness associated with AML risks. The trade body expressed its approval of the proposal, but with some reservations.
BOS highlights need for quality sanctioning decision
It said that it was important for the regulator to make high-quality decisions when it comes to sanctioning.
BOS explained that this was due to the possibility of these decisions being reversed by courts in favor of gambling companies. It added that the best way to prevent these situations is to make sure the decisions are sound from the start.
Increased fines for financial actors
The lobbying group also said that the fines imposed by regulators on gambling companies should reflect the “marginal impact” they have on the stability of the financial system, compared with financial actors.
BOS cited a ministry of finance investigation in 2021 into match-fixing, illegal gambling and other related issues as evidence to support this. The report stated that financial institutions should be penalized more severely for AML failures than non-financial organizations.
Penalties will be based not on turnover but revenue
BOS stated that the penalty paid by gambling companies must be based upon gross gambling revenue (GGR). The calculations are based on the total gambling handle.
The trade group argued that it was “unreasonable”, for penalties to come out of money that belonged to the players and not to the gambling operators.
Previously, the regulator calculated fines based on the total amount wagered by the gambling company. This changed after a decision by the Supreme Administrative Court in May 2023.
Supreme Administrative Court Fees Verdict
In its ruling the SAC stated that the penalty fees could not be greater than 10% of the GGR or lower than SEK 5,000.
The fine was imposed after the gambling operator Genesis Global appealed against its fine due to its failure to integrate white label brands with Sweden’s Spelpaus system of self-exclusion.