Svenska Spel CEO responds to SGA’s match-fixing proposals
Svenska Spel is of the opinion that the Gaming Inspectorate’s proposal for match fixing regulations lacks basic measures to protect sports, counteract gambling fraud and strengthen consumer protection.
Much sharper action is needed if we are to win the battle against the match fixes. One of these is to ban all easily manipulated gaming objects, says Patrik Hofbauer, President and CEO of Svenska Spel.
In addition to doping, match fixing is the biggest threat to sports. Expectations on the Gaming Inspectorate’s work with new regulations on match fixing have therefore been high. Recently, the authority presented its proposal, which according to Svenska Spel contains large gaps.
The proposal provides apparent protection, but will in practice have a very limited effect. We therefore propose a tightening of the regulations and hope that the Gaming Inspectorate will absorb our views, says Patrik Hofbauer.
The Gaming Inspectorate proposes, among other things, a ban on betting on the penalty of wrongdoing, rule breaking or provocative behavior, such as betting on yellow and red cards, which Svenska Spel has long advocated. However, according to Svenska Spel, the proposal is insufficient as bets on corners and throws are proposed to be allowed.
Games on corners and throw-ins are at least as easy to manipulate, so the logic of this boundary is difficult to see. Instead, we believe that all easily manipulated gaming objects should be banned, ”says Patrik Hofbauer.
The Gaming Inspectorate further proposes that the ban should only apply when the sport is practiced in Sweden. But if the sport is practiced outside the country, the ban shall not apply. This means that Swedish athletes, who with the proposal want to protect within Sweden’s borders, are not subject to the restriction of the range of games if they compete internationally.
The Gaming Inspectorate justifies its proposals with a fear that the channeling will fail, ie that gaming companies that have chosen to stand outside the Swedish licensing system should offer this type of games to Swedish consumers in a way that would cause the licensing system to be eroded.
Patrik Hofbauer points out that the channeling issue is very important, but that it must never be the core issue.
The channeling cannot be put against the integrity of the sport, the gambling industry’s responsibility for safe games or the right of consumers to feel confident that the games offered are safe. The fear of a sinking channel must be dealt with in a different way, not by compromising consumer protection and privacy issues.
The sports movement has long advocated that it should not be allowed with games on amateur sports, an opinion shared by Svenska Spel. The higher the level of professionalism and the higher up in the series the sport is performed, the greater the opportunity to discover attempts at manipulation. But in their proposal for regulations, the Gaming Inspectorate has not included such a regulation, which they justify, among other things, that it would lead to an extensive restriction. But Svenska Spel has in an earlier letter to the authority reported how such a proposal could look.
There are also countries where a catalog of this kind has already been produced, for example in France. Therefore, it is difficult to understand why something similar cannot be done in Sweden, says Patrik Hofbauer.