The gambling regulator in Sweden, Spelinspektionen, wants the government to introduce tougher punishments for those firms found to be in breach of the money laundering rules.
According to reports, the regulator has made a request to Sweden’s Ministry of Finance asking for the maximum fine that can be levied on a gambling company that is found to be in violation of Sweden’s Money Laundering Act to be increased from the current €1 million to an amount equivalent to 10% of the revenue earned by the business.
Spelinspektionen say that, given the amount of revenue earned by some operators in the Swedish market, the existing maximum fine is too small to act as a deterrent. In a letter dated December 20, the regulator pointed out that the turnover figure for the top ten gaming firms in the licensed market was between $18.4 million and $37 million and the current $1 million maximum was insufficient.
If the 10% of gaming revenue fine was introduced, it would bring the penalty in line with the fines that are applied for breaches of the country’s Gaming Act.
In June last year, failures in a number of areas, including around money laundering, resulted in Spelinspektionen withdrawing the operating licence for Global Gaming. Global had operated in the Swedish market through the Spellandet.com and Ninja Casino brands.
And in October, the regulator announced a new method for licensed firms to highlight suspicions of money laundering. The new system will be operational from January 13.
The fines for those firms in violation of the Gaming Act, which came into effect at the start of 2019, have been criticised by some industry bodies. Some have claimed that the approach of Spelinspektionen encourages illegal operators. But the regulator has rejected criticism and given that as of December, 20 out of 21 fines had not been paid, more action in 2020 seems likely.