The Swedish gambling operator association, Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), has highlighted an apparent conflict of interest over the decision to renew horse racing operator AB Trav och Galopp’s (ATG) permit for 2016.
BOS has noted that the Public Health Agency is always consulted when the Swedish government is to issue gambling permits, and normally recommends that such permits be denied on the grounds of public health.
This year however , BOS secretary general Gustaf Hoffstedt claimed that the agency did not even take a position over the issue of ATG being awarded a new permit.
Hoffstedt highlighted the fact that the Public Health Agency’s director general, Johan Carlson, is also a member of ATG’s board, creating a conflict of interest.
As a result BOS has urged members Unibet and Betsson to request a re-examination of the decision to award ATG its permit for the year.
"The fact that the Swedish gambling regulation is about to shift away from a monopoly to a licence system does not diminish the need for order in the state’s processing," Hoffstedt explained.
"As far as I can ascertain, the government has not been informed about the present conflict of interest and has therefore decided on the gambling permit without having access to information of crucial importance."
"It is deeply unsatisfactory that the Public Health Agency’s director-general puts himself in such a serious position of conflicted interests," he continued. "It is equally unsatisfactory that the Ministry for Finance appears to lack a warning system, which enables such obvious cases of maladministration to go completely unencumbered to the government for decision."