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Gambling Regulations Driving Players to Unlicensed Casinos

Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), the Swedish operation association, has published its response to a survey carried out by the country’s gaming regulator Spelinspektionen, which found an increase in customers playing at unlicensed online casinos.

The survey, which was published last week, found that 7% of people reported playing at sites that did not hold a Swedish gaming license. However, the number may be even higher, as a large proportion of respondents did not know the difference between licensed and unlicensed sites.

In its response, the BOS said that the findings were not surprising and warned that unlicensed sites could be dangerous for players. It drew attention to the part of the survey that explored why people had turned to unlicensed operators. One of the most popular answers was to bypass the country’s self-exclusion scheme Spelpaus and to avoid the SEK5,000 casino deposit limit.

In a statement, BOS said that the survey backs up its long-held belief that strict restrictions on licensed gaming companies will drive players to the unlicensed market.

BOS Statement

The Swedish-licensed gaming market is subject to so many government restrictions that gaming consumers are tired and increasingly seek their gaming experiences elsewhere… Every consumer who is lost to the unlicensed gaming market is a player who is not reached by the Swedish consumer protection.

BOS Statement

The organization also gave some thought to what can be done to help reduce unlicensed play and problem gambling. They believe that further research is needed about the group of players who turn to unlicensed operations and pointed out that the deposit limit will not help at-risk players if they simply turn to unlicensed websites to avoid it.

The BOS spoke out against the proposed extension of restrictions on online gambling in May, including the deposit limit. The organization said that the unlicensed market would “rejoice” at the extension, as it will simply send them more players.

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