Swedish Gambling Authority Presents New Match Fixing Regulation Proposal

  • Proposed rules would limit betting to the top four divisions of soccer
  • Betting on the Swedish Cup would be restricted to matches that include teams in the top four divisions
  • The regulator believes lower leagues are more susceptible to corruption
  • The European Commission must approve the regulations before they can go into effect
Person stacking red "regulation" block on stack of other wooden blocks.
The Swedish Gambling Authority submitted match fixing regulations to the National Board of Trade, which will then seek European Commission approval. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

New rule recommendations

The Swedish Gambling Authority, Spelinspektionen, has presented new match fixing regulations to the National Board of Trade. The board is to notify the European Commission of the general advice and rule recommendations. The Spelinspektionen conducted an impact assessment of the rules before submitting them to the board.

The new rules limit betting markets to only the county’s top four soccer divisions. Swedish Cup betting would be restricted to matches that feature teams from the top four divisions. The policy extends to games that feature foreign teams as well, limiting betting to games in which both teams are in their respective nation’s top four divisions.

Match fixing regulations to lower corruption

According to Spelinspektionen, restricting the betting market to the top four tiers of soccer is necessary to avoid corruption. The regulator believes that the lower leagues are more susceptible to influence, saying:

Monitoring from both sports federations and the media is lower and the athletes do not make money and are thus more vulnerable.”

Spelinspektionen stated that match fixing is one of the biggest threats to sports today, which results in a threat against betting and the companies that provide betting services.

The Swedish Gambling Authority also said that there is a risk of athletes or entire associations encountering match fixing at the lower levels. The problem of match fixing can then move up the pyramid to reach higher levels within the sport.

European Commission approval required

The European Commission must approve the new regulations before they can take effect. Approval should take around three months. If certified, the regulations would be in place next year.

Spelinspektionen stated that the proposed regulations are motivated by public interest considerations and Swedish sports integrity. They will not be discriminatory. It feels the rules are appropriate in order to achieve the goal of cutting down on match fixing.

The Swedish regulator placed emphasis on ensuring that gaming regulations do not become too restrictive. If they do, it could result in operators ceasing services in the Swedish market as well as bettors opting for unlicensed gambling sites.