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Swedish trade association BOS has criticised a government proposal to ban the use of credit cards for online gambling.

The industry body argues that such legislation would “hand yet another competitive advantage” to the unregulated gambling market.

BOS pointed to the issue of channelisation and estimated that unlicensed operators currently occupy a 41% market share for the online casino vertical in Sweden.

“The risk is great that unlicensed gambling will overtake and gain a larger total market share than licensed gambling in 2024,” said BOS secretary general Gustaf Hoffstedt.

“The government needs to change focus and show that it is on the same side as the licensed gambling companies and the safeguarding of consumers,” he added.

BOS has further accused the Swedish government of ignoring the conclusions of its own investigation into the prospect of a credit card gambling ban.

The government’s Over-indebtedness Inquiry – conducted last year – concluded there were “insufficient reasons” to prohibit gambling with credit cards.

The resistance was based on potential technical difficulties with banking providers, which caused doubts over the likelihood of being able to practically implement the ban.

“It is sad that the government does not listen to its own expertise and instead proposes a ban on credit cards when gambling, contrary to what the government investigation has concluded,” said Hoffstedt.

“Interestingly, the government does not propose a corresponding credit card ban for the purchase of alcoholic beverages, which in Sweden is only offered by a retail monopoly owned and operated by the government itself,” he added.

The ban is proposed to enter into force on 1 April 2025.

Online gambling with credit cards is banned in many online gambling markets, including the UK, Ireland, Australia and Norway. The UK veto extends to digital wallets.

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