Swedish Regulator Suggests Alternative to Credit Card Ban

Back in September, the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2023 was submitted with one of its purposes to ban credit card transactions for online gambling. Sweden is looking to enact a similar ban, but its regulator suggests a different path.

According to reports, Spelinspektionen is suggesting that Swedish authorities reconsider the ban and instead consider a credit check system as an alternative. At this time, the regulator does not plan to ban credit cards.

Regulator Suggests Reconsidering Credit Card Ban

Swedish flag

Last week, multiple sources reported on Spelinspektionen released a report consulting on a potential credit card ban being considered by the Swedish government. The consultation effectively states that there are practical difficulties in a possible credit card ban.

According to Spelinspektionen Director General Camilla Rosenberg, “However, the authority doubts the investigation’s conclusion that the reasons against introducing such a ban are stronger than the reasons for a ban.”

“The authority does not consider that the investigation has sufficiently taken into account the signal value a credit card ban could have when it comes to clarifying the perception that gambling for borrowed money is an undesirable phenomenon in society.”

The regulator made inquiries to 60 licensed operators regarding credit cards. Approximately 60% of all online casinos licensed offer credit cards as a payment option. It did not state what alternative payment options are used by the other 40%, but, likely, they are heavily into cryptocurrency or e-wallets like Skrill or Neteller.

Debt and Credit Registers Suggested

Instead of suggesting an outright ban on credit card usage, Spelinspektionen recommends using a debt and credit register (SKRI register). According to Rosenberg, “An efficient and sound credit check plays a very important role in counteracting the over-indebtedness that affects people with gambling problems. The Swedish Gaming Authority is therefore positive about the investigation’s proposal that a system for debt and credit registers (SKRI register) be introduced.”

The government proposed such a register as a way to help prevent players from going into gambling debt. However, the regulator did urge caution in setting up the system, including “detailed requirements must be placed on a credit information company.

The regulator believes such a register will be a sufficient alternative to credit card bans. It also recommends examining the results of bans in other regions, such as the UK, to determine their effectiveness. Currently, the UK Gambling Commission is claiming that its ban on credit cards is going well, with players generally happy about the ban as it helps them stick to a budget for gambling.

Regulator Believes Clarification is Necessary

Spelinspektionen believes that the Gambling Act has already addressed credit card gambling. Rosenberg pointed to Chapter 14 Section 1 of the Gambling Act when stating that the regulator has a legal opinion that licensees may not encourage players to gamble with credit cards or contribute to credit gambling in any form. “According to the authority’s view, it is therefore already prohibited for licence holders to promote opportunities for anyone else to offer or provide credit for stakes in games.”

As such, the regulator is stating they will not be enacting a credit card ban on licensed operators. Instead, they will continue monitoring Norway and the UK to see how successful their bans prove to be. However, they agree that the matter of credit card gambling should be defined by law.

According to the report from the regulator, “the Swedish Gaming Authority agrees with the investigation’s view that the legal situation should be clarified and the prohibition should appear directly from the legal text.”

Ultimately, the regulator must adhere to whatever the government deems appropriate. With the growing swell against credit card gambling worldwide, Sweden will likely join the ranks banning credit cards. That’s why it is important that players have alternative options for funding online casino accounts.

Players still need to gamble responsibly and never play with money they cannot afford to lose. Setting a budget for gambling is the best way to avoid the pitfalls associated with problem gambling.

Rose Varrelli avatar
Rose Varrelli
Senior Casino & News Writer

Hi there! I’m Rose, and with nine years behind me in the iGaming industry, I craft engaging narratives at CasinoAus. My education in Communication across Europe has sharpened my skills in fintech, casino legislation, and digital marketing. Backed by a strong foundation in SEO, storytelling, and cross-cultural communication, I’m passionate about creating content that resonates globally and educates our audience.

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