Two top executives want complete overhaul of Sweden’s allegedly failing gaming system
Two top Swedish gaming executives want a complete overhaul of the country’s allegedly failing gaming system as, according to them, corruption and match-fixing continue to ruin sports for everyone.
Patrick Hofbauer, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for state-owned gambling company Svenska Spel, and the Swedish Football Association’s General Secretary Håkan Sjöstrand said that hopes had been high that the match-fixing council would prevent match-fixing and other kinds of cheating in the gaming space but those high hopes got smashed due to various loopholes in the system.
Both Hofbauer and Sjöstrand stressed that nothing changed in the gaming space in the past couple of years. Hence, they wanted a complete refurbishment of the failing system. The two executives expressed their views in an article that recently appeared in Sweden’s renowned newspaper Aftonbladet.
They added that they would sign the Council of Europe’s convention against manipulation in sports if the countrymen were ready to take the battle against organized crime in the field of sports seriously.
Explaining their viewpoint, they wrote, “If Sweden as a country took the fight against organized crime in sports very seriously, we would sign the Council of Europe’s convention against manipulation in sports. The Convention provides a clear description of structures and commitments required for a nation to stand strong in the fight against match-fixing.”
They further added that signing of the Council of Europe’s convention against manipulation in sports and its becoming Swedish law would remove a number of obstacles that are currently making the work more difficult.
The duo also urged Sweden’s Social Minister Ardalan Shekarabi to play a proactive role in cleaning up the match-fixing council. It may be noted here that Shekarabi was a driving force behind the country’s updated gambling laws. The two gaming executives are hopeful that the minister’s high status and position could help bring the country in line with other countries that have already determined that a joint effort in the oversight of sports can be the only approach to ensure improvement.
Sweden’s new sports-centric match-fixing council was introduced on 1st of January 2019, with a sole purpose to expose any kind of cheating occurring in sports. The match-fixing council, which was introduced in response to increasing incidents of match-fixing, was highly expected to help enhance honesty and transparency among sports organizations. But, many, including Hofbauer and Sjöstrand, believe that the council has failed to live up to those expectations.