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The Swedish Finance Ministry Moves to Equalize AML Fines and Penalties For the Gambling Sector

Sweden’s Finance Ministry, Finasdepartementet, has taken a step to harmonize penalties related to Anti Money Laundering (AML) violations. This decision, targeting all high-risk industries including the gambling sector, is set to be implemented on 1st April 2024. Sweden’s AML Act sets forth regulations to counter money laundering across various sectors.

Implications for the Gambling Sector

This directive is poised to escalate AML fines in Sweden’s gaming world. Historically, post the 2019 Swedish Gambling Act’s inception, the Swedish High Court has adjudicated AML disciplinary cases within the gambling domain. The gambling act allows the imposition of fines up to double the profits earned from the infraction. Nonetheless, AML violations, not being directly addressed in the act, were traditionally left to the discretion of the high court.

Rationale Behind the Equalization

By unifying the AML fines for high-risk sectors, the Swedish government is establishing a straightforward stance on AML breaches within its gambling industry. This decisive action by the Finance Ministry aligns with the government’s dedication to shield consumers and ensure that gaming service providers comply with the European Union’s 4th anti-money laundering directive when playing at a casino.

Reaction from the Swedish Gambling Trade Association (BOS)

Branschforeningen for Onlienspel (BOS), the Swedish gambling trade association, has expressed support for this move, contingent upon the acknowledgment of specific nuances in gambling revenue. They believe this step will bring clarity to the legal tussles surrounding fines meted out by the Swedish gaming inspectorate for AML violations. In his remarks, the BOS’s secretary-general, Gustaf Hoffstedt, underscored the gravity of AML violations in the Swedish gambling realm, highlighting the importance of standardized fines for such transgressions.

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