The Swedish government has announced an investigation into the rules and regulations surrounding party political lotteries.

Lotteries have been criticized in recent years, including because of the way this form of gambling is used to finance political parties in Sweden. Concerns have also been raised about political lotteries being exempt from loan bans, bonus restrictions and the gambling tax.

The audit will examine whether the regulations that specifically apply to lotteries for party political activities are justified and appropriate.

It will also consider whether the current regulations should be changed to offer players better protection. In addition, it should be examined whether licenses should be issued for such lotteries at all.

The investigation will examine, among other things, the lottery’s exemption from credit bans, bonus restrictions and tax liability. The inquiry will also examine proposals that would require a full declaration on the funding of lottery games.

“Openness and transparency are important prerequisites for a democratic society,” the government said. “This applies not least to the question of how political parties are financed.

“Given the need to reduce the risks of social harm that gambling can bring, the gambling market is surrounded by extensive regulations. Large parts of the rules of the game have been fundamentally changed in recent years.

“It is important to maintain a high level of trust in the political system and ensure that political power is not used to create unfair advantages.”

Gunnar Larsson, former consumer ombudsman and director general of the Swedish Consumer Agency, will lead the review.

The order must be reported by February 29, 2024 at the latest.

Changed regulations

The investigation comes at a time when Swedish lawmakers are considering a number of further changes to the current rules and regulations relating to gambling.

A proposal to increase fines for gambling operators that violate the country’s money laundering law was introduced this week.

The proposal would equalize penalties for gambling law violations to the same maximum.

Currently, the maximum penalty with which operators can be punished for violations of the Money Laundering Act is significantly lower than for violations of the Gambling Act. The memorandum said this was “unsatisfactory” because in many cases violations of the Money Laundering Act could be considered more serious than those related to the Gambling Act.

Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen also announced that it would require holders of supplier licenses to pay fees from July 1.

Spelinspektionen charges a fixed fee from any organization that holds a license to provide gambling software to operators in Sweden. The regulator requires companies to pay a separate fee for each license they hold unless they receive a special exemption.