The Swedish Financial Police says over 700 reports of suspected money laundering were made by gaming companies in the jurisdiction in 2020.
A total of 705 reports were made, which represents a 15% rise from the 614 reports made in 2019, according to a report from Finanspolisen. The body said that the increase may be linked to an increase in online gambling due to land-based closures throughout the pandemic.
Sweden’s gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, claims that only half of the approximately 70 gaming companies that hold a Swedish licence for online gaming and betting submitted reports in 2020, meaning there is a potential under-reporting from the gaming industry.
“The Financial Police states that the gaming industry is used for money laundering, among other things, to be able to legitimize money from criminal activities,” a statement from Spelinspektionen read.
“According to the report, it is likely that criminal groups in, identified by the police as vulnerable and particularly vulnerable areas, use the gaming industry to launder money.”
The regulator did, however, note that a suspicion report to the Financial Police may not necessarily mean that the gaming company has evidence that money laundering took place, but that the gaming company has reason to suspect that the money came from criminal activity.