Some time ago, BOS filed a complaint with the Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority over Svenska Spel’s reoccurring segment on free-to-air channel TV4 where guests play the company’s Keno and scratch card products, noting that the segment should be considered advertising and not air as part of editorial TV programing. The complaint further noted that the segment fails to provide any consumer protection as required by law.

Today, The Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority – the national regulator tasked with safeguarding an open, diverse and responsible media landscape – issued their ruling, fully agreeing with BOS’s position and finding that Svenska Spel and TV4 violated the Radio and Television Act. The regulator states that there is no doubt the segment aired by TV4 constitutes advertising and not editorial material. Consequently, TV4 will be subject to a fine.

“Today’s decision is a victory for thousands of Swedes who want to engage with the gambling market in a safe and regulated manner. There should be no confusion about what constitutes gambling advertising or special schemes that circumvent the statutory disclosure requirement for the 18+ age limit or information about the national problem gambling helpline. We are pleased that the Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority has reached the same conclusion,” says Gustaf Hoffstedt, BOS Secretary General.

“The decision by the Authority will help level the playing field on Sweden’s gambling market. By claiming that the Keno and scratch card segments did not constitute advertising, Svenska Spel was able to promote their monopoly products outside of regular advertising spots, gaining an unfair advantage over its competitors. We welcome today’s decision and hope it marks the end of covert advertising practices in gambling market,” says Gustaf Hoffstedt.