Spelinspektionen, Sweden’s Gambling Inspectorate, has issued a ‘positive response’ to changes that will come with the country’s revamped Money Laundering Act.
In September, the Ministry of Finance of Sweden Finansdepartementet instructed Spelinspektionen that it must “adjust penalty fees for gambling operators violating AML legislations” from 1 April 2024.
The proposed adjustment equates to penalty fees for AML infringements, in which Spelinspektionen must specify a ‘maximum amount’ for violations under the rules interpreted by the Gambling Act of 2018.
The Ministry of Finance was forced to intervene on AML penalty fee disputes, in light of Regional High Court challenges by licensed operators on the amounts summoned by the Inspectorate, which were deemed as ‘unfair calculations’ imposed by the regulatory authority.
Spelinspektionen issued a positive response, but recommended a different wording of the legal text to enable intervention in cases of violations that are “not serious, systematic, or repeated”.
Furthermore, the Inspectorate noted that, at present, it can only issue a ‘rectification order’ on AML infringements in cases of non-serious, unsystematic, or non-repetitive violations, which it deems insufficient to cover serious types of financial violations.
Under ‘violations and penalty fees’, the Gambling Act stipulates that fines can be up to twice the profit made from the violations. However, conflicts arise as “penalty violations related to AML are treated differently than standard violations of the main Gaming Law”.
Concluding its memorandum, Finansdepartementet recommended that the Inspectorate design its new policies on AML penalties and safeguards with the assistance of Sweden’s Consumer Agency, Konsumentverket, to “reflect the critical importance of consumer protections”.