Casino Deposit Cap in Sweden May Remain Until November
Sweden’s government has proposed extending the restrictions that were placed on the country’s online gambling industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The restrictions, which include an SEK5,000 monthly deposit cap, were put in place in July 2020 and were intended to last until the end of the year. However, they have been extended a number of times, most recently until June 2021, and there are now plans to extend this once again to 14 November.
We see that the spread of Covid-19 is still high in Sweden, the current situation entails great risks for consumers in the gaming market. We therefore need to act to reduce the risks for the most vulnerable consumers.
The proposals also include measures that would require players to set limits on playing time at online casinos and on gaming machines. Furthermore, operators will only be able to offer bonuses of up to SEK100 at both online casino and for gaming machines. The proposed memorandum will remain open for consultation until 3 May.
Unsurprisingly, the proposals have been attacked by the Swedish online industry association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS). Its chair, Gustaf Hoffstedt, believes that an extension will send more players to the black-market, a belief that is backed up by a recent report from Sweden’s State Treasury.
The government seems unaware that their own expert authority, the Swedish Agency for Public Management, just over a week ago stated that the leakage from the Swedish gaming market to the unregulated gaming market is alarmingly high. The leakage for online casinos is particularly high, where as much as every fourth gaming krona is played outside the Swedish licensed market. To extend restrictions that are disapproved by gaming consumers is to ask for continued problems for the channeling into the licensed market when it comes to online casinos.