Swedish Gambling Authority Faces Audit Amidst Evolving Regulatory Landscape: An Exclusive Insight by Maria McDonald and Karl-Oskar Hokkanen of Nordic Gambling
Legal experts Maria McDonald and Karl-Oskar Hokkanen of Nordic Gambling provide essential insights into the challenges confronting the Swedish Gambling Authority
The following is an exclusive article for Gambling.Re authored by legal experts Maria McDonald and Karl-Oskar Hokkanen of Nordic Gambling. It provides valuable insights into the challenges facing the Swedish Gambling Authority amidst the evolving regulatory landscape, as they grapple with new dynamics in the gambling market, including an impending audit by the Swedish National Audit Office (Riksrevisionen). Delving into the intricacies of this audit and its potential ramifications, this article sheds light on what the future may hold for the Swedish gambling industry.
Despite having overseen the gambling market since 1974, the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) faced new challenges following the 2019 re-regulation and the end of the monopoly situation of the Swedish gambling market. These challenges include the supervision of numerous operators and the maintenance of a high level of channeling within the Swedish gambling market.
On 18th of August 2023, it was announced in a press release that the Swedish National Audit Office (Riksrevisionen), an independent authority that supervises public authorities, will review the SGA’s supervision of the Swedish gambling market. The primary objective with the review is to examine if the SGA’s supervision is efficient.
An effectiveness audit examines the efficiency of government operations. The main purpose of the effectiveness audit is to examine finansing, resource utilization and target fulfilment. This means that the Swedish National Audit Office may deem that there are regulation issues and/or problems with the Swedish Authority’s supervision of the gambling market.
The Swedish National Audit Office will present its audit report of the SGA to the Swedish parliament which undergoes a decision procedure before being made final.
The Swedish National Audit Office’s effectiveness audits often leads to changes. Out of 22 audits conducted in 2018 and 2019, 19 audits have resulted in actions taken by the government or responsible authorities. From previous effectiveness audits it is thus very probable that their review of the SGA will result in changes. Whether it is new legislation to help the SGA to fulfil their objectives or internal critique of how the authority prioritizes and manages their resources remains to be seen.
It is important to bear in mind that the proposal and date of effectiveness of any new legislation resulting from this report would be a lengthy process, and operators would have the opportunity to oppose and later adjust their businesses. Nevertheless, it would be reasonable to consider the effectiveness audit report as a valuable indicator of what is anticipated to occur in the future.