Some time ago, BOS filed a complaint regarding Svenska Spel and TV4 to The Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority, which is a governmental authority, for the fact that Svenska Spel’s Keno and Lotto draws on the TV channel do not take place during an advertising block, but on the contrary are broadcasted as a regular editorial TV program. Nor are the programs broadcasted with mandatory gambling consumer protection information.
Today, The Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority made a decision on the matter. They go completely along the lines of BOS’s complaint and they find that Svenska Spel and TV4 are guilty of infringing the law. The authority state that there is no doubt that the features sent in TV4 constitute advertising, not editorial material. As a consequence TV4 will be liable to pay a fine.
“This a landslide victory for consumer protection when it comes to gambling and gambling advertisement in Sweden. Svenska Spel’s actions have threatened consumer protection in the Swedish gambling market with its hidden advertisement. We want it to be clear what constitutes gambling advertising, and we do not want the statutory disclosure obligation about the 18-year-old limit and contact information for gambling addictions to be circumvented through special schemes. We are pleased that The Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority come to the same conclusion” says Gustaf Hoffstedt.
“We are also pleased that Sweden with this decision from the authority level the playing field on the gambling market. Svenska Spel, with the scheme of claiming that the Keno and Lotto draws did not constitute gambling advertising, was able to broadcast these outside of regular advertising time and thus competed on unequal terms for its monopoly products compared to its competitors, who lacked this opportunity. We are pleased to erase such behavior from the gambling market” says Gustaf Hoffstedt