Despite opposition from gambling industry stakeholders

Swedish government to implement online casino restrictions

In addition to monetary restrictions, players will be obliged to set time limits on how long they play with licensed operators.
2020-06-12
Reading time 1:27 min
These limits, which will apply to both online casino and slots games, are intended to protect players from potential gambling-related harm during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

In an attempt to protect customers from gambling-related harm, the Swedish government has approved temporary restrictions on online gambling which are set to come into force from 2nd July.

Despite opposition from gambling industry stakeholders, the limits will remain in place until the end of 2020, the Affiliate Insider reports. In addition to monetary restrictions, players will be obliged to set time limits on how long they play with licensed operators.

Social Security Minister Ardalan Shekarabi spoke about the risks that the pandemic, in his eyes, poses to player safety:

"As a result of the current pandemic, we see a mix of circumstances that together create great risks in the gaming sector.

"These need to be counteracted. With these measures, the government will strengthen the protection of Swedish consumers."

The government has also approved funding worth 500,000 Swedish Krona (SEK) (£4,272.30) for research related to problem gambling during the pandemic. This money will be given to Folkhälsomyndigheten, the country’s Public Health Authority. 

Social Minister Lena Hallengren also discussed the importance of monitoring gambling activity for long term sustainability:

"We need in-depth knowledge of how problem gambling is affected by the corona pandemic. This is important for preventing gambling addiction in the future."

A number of leading operators in the Swedish market, including Betsson, Kindred Group and LeoVegas, have spoken out against the temporary restrictions. 

Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), a Sweden-based gambling trade body, has also warned against the laws. They believe that it could cause serious harm by driving players towards unregulated operators.

Nine operator Chief Executives put forward proposals that they think would be more effective than the deposit restrictions. These include operators being able to share player information, along with Spelinspektionen having its mandate expanded to “strengthen the all-important degree of channelisation."

Spelinspektionen itself has criticized the deposit limits, which would be 5,000 SEK (just over £427) per week. The country’s regulator argued that applying them to specific verticals would make it harder for operators to implement them, while the timescale is also tight. 

In addition to the above weekly restrictions, a SEK 100 bonus cap would also be implemented.

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