Gambling in Europe: How the UK and Sweden Set Higher Gambling Standards

The UK Gambling Commission in its present form has only been around since 2007 and over time their responsibilities have evolved to cover several areas.

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July 23, 2019 11:52
2 minute read.
Gambling in Europe: How the UK and Sweden Set Higher Gambling Standards

. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

The UK Gambling Commission in its present form has only been around since 2007 and over time their responsibilities have evolved to cover several areas. This includes ensuring that gambling activities are conducted fairly and transparently, the protection of the most vulnerable and society at large, and the prevention of money laundering. The Swedish regulator, Spelinspektionen, is the equivalent to the UKGC, tasked with a similar responsibility. The Swedish market was opened to online gambling on January 1, 2019. Both regulators have a reputation for being tough when it comes to regulating their respective markets and have not been shy to punish operators that contravene local laws with fines, withdrawal of licenses or other. There are other European regulators, such as the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, who are older and have good reputations.

Anti-Money Laundering

Money laundering is a serious crime and so both regulators have a responsibility of ensuring that operators use sufficient controls to protect the integrity of online gambling from being tainted by criminal activity. While the mechanics of each regulator may differ slightly, the strategies are basically the same. Casino operators are required to conduct a Know your Customer (KYC) check when establishing a new player account. This means that a regulated casino will need to verify the identity of all its players to identify those from high-risk jurisdictions, politically exposed or behaving in such a way as to generate suspicion. This process is ongoing and does not stop after signup.

Social Responsibility

The other consideration that the regulators must take is in regards to social responsibility. This means that they must consider the impact of gambling on both the individual and society at large.

Advertising

Advertising in the UK must conform to the UK Advertising Codes issued by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP). They are designed to address misleading advertising, promotional marketing, gambling and lotteries. For example, operators must ensure that marketing communications are not designed to be appealing to persons under 18 years of age. The Swedish regulator has been looking to setup a framework of their own for stricter gambling advertising.

Transparency and Fair Dealing

Casino operators that operate in Sweden or the UK must ensure that their customers are treated fairly and in a transparent manner. In the UK, operators must ensure that any promotions include important terms and conditions that are available for the duration of the promotion.

Self-Exclusion

A UK player that wishes to join a self-exclude list should be able to do so immediately. This means the player will not be able to gamble for at least six months, which is considered a fair amount of time for a problem gambler to seek help for their problem. The multi-operator self-exclusion list is an important tool which prevents problem gamblers who have added themselves to a self-exclusion list from simply going to another online casino. Sweden offers the Spelpaus.se self-exclusion register which had over 30,000 names in the first quarter of 2019 alone.

What does this mean for players?

In the end, the heavy requirements imposed on licensed online casinos in the UK and Sweden by regulatory bodies make them safer and effectively more desirable places from which to play. Though it may seem like an inconvenience when you're asked to send documents to confirm your identity, et cetera, keep in mind that this is an important condition that makes online gambling safer and lowers the risk of fraud from rogue online casinos.


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