Swedish Players Once Again Face Monthly Deposit Cap
Sweden’s government is once again considering imposing a new, low deposit limit for online casinos. It has launched a consultation about a proposed monthly deposit limit of SEK4,000 that may come into effect as soon as next month.
Ardalan Shekarabi, Sweden’s Minister for Social Security, said that the consultation is a result of the deteriorating covid-19 situation and the need to protect vulnerable players. The previous online casino deposit limit of SEK5,000 per month, which was effective from 2 July 2020 to 14 November 2021, was also designed to protect players.
The cap was introduced as a short-term measure, but it was repeatedly extended. When it finally ended, Shekarabi called on the local regulator Spelinspektionen to evaluate whether a permanent cap was needed.
Branscheforenigen for Onlinespel (BOS), Sweden’s gambling trade association, has been consistently critical of the cap, and it has attacked the new proposals as a hinder to player protection efforts. The organization’s secretary-general Gustaf Hoffstedt pointed out that the cap can only be applied to an account with a single operator, and those looking to bet more than SEK4,000 would simply create accounts with multiple providers.
He went on to say that before the cap was introduced, Swedish players would usually have accounts with one or two operators. However, following its implementation, there was a “sharp increase” in the number of accounts held by each player.
With play split across multiple brands and accounts, it is difficult for operators to gain a true picture of player habits. Hoffstedt explained, “When gambling becomes as fragmented as it does with deposit limits, no individual gaming company can capture risky gaming behavior, and thus a cornerstone of Swedish consumer protection in the gaming law is lost.”