Spelinspektionen, Sweden’s gambling regulator, has announced plans to launch new initiatives to help it keep a closer watch on how money moves through the Swedish industry.
The new measures are due to take effect in early 2020 and they will replace the present system, which is called DAR, and the regulator is already pressing operators to prepare to get themselves aligned with the new rules.
AML is short for anti-money laundering and gambling regulators take AML very seriously indeed. With an industry that is exclusively web-based, it is important for them to keep an eye on how gambling services are used to prevent them being used for criminal activity.
All reputable regulators demand that operators take measures to prevent money laundering through their online casinos. These tie in with Know Your Customer protocols, which help to track where gambling money comes from and ends up. Keeping crime out of gambling is in everyone’s interests and Sweden’s Spelinspektionen intends to make its AML rules iron-clad.
The new AML system, called goAML by the regulator, officially comes into force on the 13th January 2020. This comes just a year after the Swedish government launched Spelinspektionen in its current form.
The DAR system will continue to operate until the 29th February, to allow operators a bit of wiggle room to migrate over to the goAML license structure. GoAML will be available one month ahead of its official launch, on the 9th December 2019, which allows operators to start the application process in plenty of time.
Despite the regulator’s enthusiasm to get goAML off the ground, it does still need to pass a vetting process by the Swedish government. However, the regulator has assured stakeholders that this is approval won’t be long in coming.
Spelinspektionen may only be a year old but it has already proven to be a tough regulator to impress. Since its launch, a number of operators have faced pushback over their advertising policies or their non-compliance with AML rules that are currently in force. Brands such as GiG and Global Gaming have been hit with suspensions of their licenses already.
While operators holding a Swedish license are clearly bound to stick with their licensing obligations, the regulator is reaching further in an effort to close any loopholes that offshore operators might seek to exploit.
In September, payment processors were cautioned by Spelinspektionen to withhold payments to gambling operators that are not licensed in Sweden. Online casinos operating outside of Sweden’s legal system are able to offer marketing and promotional offers that licensed operators cannot.
While Spelinspektionen cannot sanction these operators directly because they outside its jurisdiction and not license holders, this move means that the regulator can still exert some control over them and, more importantly, over what Swedish players are exposed to. Sweden’s tough stance on player protection is quite evident and there are suspicions that offshore operators could face further scrutiny down the line.