Sweden’s Ministry of Finance has brought forth several prosed changes to strengthen consumer protections in its already heavily regulated gambling sector.
This proposal has come as part of a process that began with the tabling of a Ministry report focused on enhancing consumer protections. The 650-page document covered a diverse range of topics across its sizeable contents.
The two main talking points emerging from this report’s release take a particular aim at the topic of credit. This included a proposed ban on the promotion of credit and an extension of an existing ban on the offering of credit.
Credit checks and prevention of indebtedness
The Ministry has also suggested that credit checks be substantially improved along with a debt register system should an individual incur any debt.
The credit check proposal has secured inclusion into the Ministry’s document due to the challenges Sweden is facing in terms of high-risk lending and over-indebtedness.
Through the improvement of credit checks, financial institutions and lenders will have a far more comprehensive understanding of an individual’s financial circumstances before extending credit.
Clearer marketing guidelines
The Ministry also took aim at the marketing of consumer credit products, proposing the introduction of clearer guidelines when moderating marketing materials.
This suggestion seeks to ensure that advertisements are not misleading or exploitative, even going so far as to call for the inclusion of explicit information whenever any costs would be incurred.
The Swedish Gambling Association (SPER) in support
Members of the trade group have expressed their shares in the investigation’s concerns surrounding over-indebtedness, acknowledging it as an already significant issue which is still growing.
The state-owned gambling operator Svenska Spel is one such member of SPER making this statement on the matter:
We will now analyse the inquiry’s proposal together with SPER’s members and will return with our views in connection with the government’s review of the inquiry’s proposal.
A long time coming
There have been numerous past pleas from gambling stakeholders in Sweden, aside from Svenska Spel, demanding further protections for gamblers by introducing more stringent and holistic measures.
Such measures that have been discussed in length include the inauguration of a national debt register and the allocation of the ability to ban loans to already indebted individuals.
Unfortunately, however, these have failed to gain any traction, at least prior to the Finance Ministry’s report.
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