You can’t bet on sporting violations in Sweden. The country’s gambling operator will be mandating a ban that includes yellow and red cards, free kicks, and penalties in football. The ban starts in January 2021.
In fact, Spelinspektionen intends to stop betting on all but the top four Swedish divisions – Allsvenskan, Superettan, Division 1 Norra and Södra. In addition, no betting will be allowed in the six regional Division 2 leagues and any under-21 internationals.
In addition, no betting will take place on a player’s individual performance if under 18 no matter the sport. According to the regulator, football is a high-risk sport when it comes to match-fixing. There are special risks with low divisions because of poor surveillance.
Practitioners do not make money from their sport in such cases. Therefore, the Swedish Gambling Authority has therefore chosen to place special emphasis on football. It is taking into account those views received from consultative bodies.
Gustaf Hoffstedt is the Secretary General of online gaming operators’ association, Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS).
He has been hear to criticize the move as political. He says it was designed to appease the National Athletics Association, Swedish Football Association and politicians instead of the better purpose of enforcing regulatory good sense.
“Spelinspektionen claims to have found a well-balanced point between different interests, but there is no balanced point in this matter. Either you believe restrictions for licensed companies lead to reduced match-fixing [or not]”.
He adds the question of whether Spelinspektionen can be content with these relatively peripheral restrictions. If so, the only responsibility would be to impose restrictions on almost everything to have a positive effect. He noted,
“The Swedish Gambling Authority is often blamed for a lot of things when in fact it is the government that is to be held accountable.”
He feels that this case is unique in the SGA itself has chosen to impose the restrictions and without any analysis as to their effect. This damages SGA’s reputation in his view.