Spelinspektionen has welcomed new changes to Sweden’s Money Laundering Act that will allow the gambling inspectorate to increase financial penalties on gambling-related fines/infringements.
The decision was approved by Finansdepartementet, Sweden’s Ministry of Finance, which will allow the inspectorate to increase penalty fees for gambling operators violating AML rules from 1 April 2024.
The inspectorate had previously submitted its proposals to the legislative council of Finansdepartementet to amend the laws of Money Laundering Act, to “improve consumer protections and tackle crime within the gaming.”
From 2024, the inspectorate will be able to impose the same penalty fees for AML infringements as those under the Gambling Act of 2018, with a specified maximum amount for individual violations.
Welcoming the decision, Director General Camilla Rosenberg stated: “We welcome the proposals in the referral that enable further measures to strengthen the regulation of the gaming market.
“It is also gratifying that the government has now heeded the Gambling Authority’s proposal to raise the sanction ceiling for violations of the Money Laundering Act.”
The Inspectorate had previously argued that its enforcement capabilities on AML infringements were limited as abiding to existing rules it could only apply “modified penalties” on offenders – deemed as insufficient to cover serious types of financial violations.
Regulatory disputes on AML matters had forced Finansdepartementet to intervene on AML penalty fee disputes, due to Regional High Court challenges, by licensed operators on the amounts summoned by the Inspectorate, which were deemed as “unfair calculations”.
Finansdepartementet had recommended the inspectorate to design a new framework on AML penalties related to gambling, with the oversight of Konsumentverket, Sweden’s Consumer Agency.
From April 2024, the penalty fees for violations of the Money Laundering Act will be aligned with those for breaches of the Gambling Act. Adjusting to new duties, Swedish licensed operators can request to access a customer’s personal financial and public health data to intervene in cases of potential problem gaming or suspicion of money laundering activities.