Spelinspektionen to Combat Terrorism Financing and Money Laundering



Staff member
May 3, 2008
The Swedish Regulator Will Work Closely with 15 Agencies to Combat Terrorism Financing and Money Laundering

It seems like the Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen aims to have the toughest regulatory principles in entire Europe. The watchdog isn't going to rest until gambling is kept completely under control and players are 100% safe.

After hiring the Gaming Market Commission to investigate the gambling ads and their influence on players, now, it has announced to have partnered with 15 agencies to fight terrorism financing and money laundering in the gambling industry.

Sweden updated its gambling legislation earlier this year, therefore, the regulator intends to see every operator respecting the rules.

The New Collaboration

In May, the Spelinspektionen has acknowledged that it needs help in order to vet all licensees and crack down those operators who weren’t compliant with the rules. And, it has announced earlier this week to have joined forces with 15 other agencies in order to create a new strategy for combating illicit activities from happening in the gambling industry.

The new strategy will not only be deployed across the gambling industry, but also to other industries. The strategy will include the exchange and distribution of information between the 15 agencies involved and will serve to create a repository data that can be used to map, identify and analyse the risks related to illegal activities.

The Spelinspektionen will work with the agencies to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism in the gaming industry. Aware that a gaming company can be used as a tool for criminal activities, the regulator in its licensing will try to find out who the real principals of the operators that hold or applies for a Swedish license are. The operator must have good customer knowledge in order to react when and if illicit activities such as terrorist financing or money laundering are taking place in their gambling businesses.

As parts of the agencies and the regulator’s efforts will be investigating the applicants thoroughly, digging deeper into their background. The investigation will not only provide a cursory review of the operator as a business name but will also look into the identities of the people or person who is requesting that license on behalf of the company. The companies which have been approved for a licence will need to include Know Your Customer procedures in their operations, used to try to map illegal money exchanges or discover other types of illegal activities in money-related industries.

These efforts are similar to those introduced in Denmark recently. Spillemyndigheden, the Danish regulator, introduced new policies to combat money laundering, including a reward for local employees who reported questionable activities in the gambling industry. With the whistleblower program, those who are employed in the gambling industry can anonymously report potential violations of the anti-money laundering rules and laws.

Previous Investigations and Efforts to Make Gambling Safer

Sweden does take care of its citizens. After re-regulating the gambling market, it has called operators to come up with proposals on gambling advertising and present it to the regulator not later than the 31st of March. Both the government and the regulator deemed the proposals as not sufficient. However, after seeing that more than a half of the Swedish population said that they consider the gambling advertising ban was absolutely necessary, as reported by the market researchers Sifo based on their survey results, Sweden immediately hired the Gaming Market Commission to investigate the gambling advertising situation. The Gaming Market Commission has an open mandate, and complete freedom to propose the right measures against the aggressive gambling advertising in the country that made half of the population despise it. The commission has the right to completely ban gambling if needed so.

The Minister of Civil Administration Ardalan Shekarabi stated that problem gambling was a matter of public health, so adjustments and changes to rules and laws were essential, as players need to be protected from harm. The Commission is expected to reach the final verdict not later than the 1st of October.

In the meantime, the Swedish regulator has been kept busy, fining operators left and right. Those who were not complying by the rules were fined appropriately by the Spelinspektionen. At one point, the regulator stressed that issuing fines will not be their only measure when rules are broken, but rule violators could even get their license revoked, depending on the severity of their case.

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