Svenska Spel president and CEO Patrik Hofbauer has endorsed a proposed crackdown on sports betting markets permitted by Sweden’s government.

Svenska Spel

It was reported this week that Sweden’s social security minister Ardalan Shekarabi had held a meeting with the Swedish Football Association and the Swedish Ice Hockey Association. They were then told that the regulator will propose a ban on bets that can be influenced by individual players, including yellow cards, corners and dismissals.

Citing the soccer fixture earlier this year between Elfsborg and Kalmar, Hofbauer said that certain markets were open to manipulation and therefore should not be permitted.

Hofbauer said: “Svenska Spel welcomes the minister's message. It is common sense not to offer this kind of market. Match fixing is a problem for the sports and gaming industry already as it is and there is no reason for the gaming companies to make it easy for the match fixers. This type of event is very easy to manipulate, because they do not depend on the entire team effort, but can be controlled by a single player.

“As a fresh example of this, we have the all-Swedish match between Kalmar and Elfsborg earlier this year, where a player is suspected of having drawn on a yellow card while his relatives bet that this would happen.

“Svenska Spel has always been behind the sport on this issue. It is a matter of course for us to work together against cheating and crime. Our customers should be able to feel confident that the matches they have played on are free from manipulation.

“The message from the minister shows that our politicians and legislators are also serious about match fixing. If a ban is now proposed and introduced, it will be a historic victory for the sport and the gaming companies that want to offer games on the terms of the sport. If you want the Swedish gaming market to be healthy and secure, then you welcome this message.”