Spelbranschens Riksorganisation (SPER), Sweden’s independent online gambling trade association has published a ‘draft framework’ outlining best practices on consumer terms and conditions for its members to follow.
The advisory framework has been developed in response to criticism by Konsumentverket – Sweden’s Consumer Agency with regards to the unaligned standards of the Swedish regulated market’s terms and conditions.
In response, SPER has published its ‘nine-point framework’, to complement the rules on consumer protection contained by Sweden’s reformed Gambling Act and to establish common practices between regulated incumbents.
The framework has been designed for the purpose of ensuring that customers are safeguarded by fair terms when engaging with online gambling services.
Clarity is deemed as the overriding dynamic, in which operators must provide customers with a clear understanding and interpretation of their ‘contract terms’.
The contract terms must divulge full customer information on operator technicalities related to sign-up, verification, documentation required, data storage, deposits/withdrawls and customer de-registration rights.
SPER’s states that whilst operators can choose to apply ‘foreign laws’ within their T&Cs – the use of foreign laws cannot deprive or override mandatory consumer protections set by Swedish law.
Licensed operators must maintain a fair complaints procedure, in which customers are made aware of their rights to challenge operator decisions by using an authorised ‘dispute resolution solution’ – ARN (General Complaints Board) or EU online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform.
SPER Chief Executive Jenny Nilzon commented on the guidelines – “The Swedish Consumer Agency has pointed out that there is great potential for improvement when it comes to agreements.
“This framework is intended as a help and guidance. Our recommendation is based on it being clear and comprehensible to consumers what applies when you become and are a customer.”
Last December, Konsumentverket alerted Swedish gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen of a ‘litany of deficiencies’ on consumer protections, following a review of 13 licensed operators terms and conditions.
At present Swedish gambling sees itself at a critical crossroads as licensed incumbents await on whether the government will proceed with implementing the recommended measures of the ‘Gambling Market Enquiry’.
The independent enquiry reviewed Swedish gambling standards, laws and safeguards following the first year of Sweden launching its re-regulated online gambling regime in 2019
However, the review of Sweden’s gambling legislation has been temporarily put on hold, following the dissolving of the government due to a parliamentary vote of no confidence in the administration of Stefan Löfven.
In a statement released yesterday, BOS Secretary General, Gustaf Hoffstedt, outlined his view that the political developments would be ‘positive’ for the betting and gambling industry due to the suspension of critical governmental oversight of the industry.
However, the long-term impacts of the vote of no confidence will not be truly felt until the successful appointment of a new Prime Minister by the Speaker of the Rikstag, Sweden’s parliament, and the conclusion of elections in September this year.