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The Swedish government has chosen Claes Norgren to serve as the new chairman of the country’s gambling regulator.

The former deputy governor of the Swedish central bank will assume his new position 1 April, where he will remain in place until 31 March 2026.

He will replace Per Hakansson, who has served as chairman of the board since 1 April 2023.

As chair, Norgren will help provide oversight to the Swedish Gambling Authority’s (SGA) activities in regulating Sweden’s legal online and land-based gambling market.

Other duties will include scrutinising the work of specific executives at the organisation, including director general Camilla Rosenberg.

Norgren has held a number of prominent positions in Swedish society over recent decades, including as head of the financial regulator, auditor general of the Swedish National Audit, and as chairman of the financial crisis working group.

The economist also served for six months in 2003-4 as president of the international anti-money laundering body, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

State of the Swedish gambling market

This month, the Swedish regulator reported the gaming market had seen its first year-on-year decline in annual GGR since the re-regulation of the sector in 2019.

Licensed Swedish operators reported SEK27.1bn (€2.4bn) in revenue during 2023, an approximate 1% decline from the previous year.

The revenue fall was most pronounced at retail venue Casino Cosmopol and from state slot machines, which declined 11.4% and 3.6%.

Meanwhile an upcoming credit card ban for gambling has drawn criticism from industry bodies.

BOS highlighted the channelisation issue, and argued the measure represented another competitive advantage for the unlicensed market.

In November 2023, former state-owned horse racing monopoly ATG claimed the real level of channelisation in Sweden was somewhere between 70% and 82%, significantly lower than the country’s 90% target.

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