Sweden considers keeping online casino restrictions into 2021

Temporary deposit limits could be kept until June 2021.
Temporary deposit limits could be kept until June 2021.

The government has proposed retaining temporary deposit limits well into next year.

Sweden.- The government is proposing that Sweden retain the temporary restrictions on online casinos until June 2021.

The measures, including a SEK5,000 (€490) weekly deposit limit and a SEK100 limit on bonuses were introduced in July due to concerns players may be more at risk during the Covid-19 pandemic.

They have had an impact on the results of many igaming operators, such as LeoVegas.

The government has launched a consultation on its proposal to extend the limits until June 2021. Stakeholders have until November 23 to respond.

Minister for social security, Ardalan Shekarabi, said: “In the wake of the pandemic, we see continued risks in the field of gambling, which means that we need to act to reduce the risks for vulnerable consumers.”

The Swedish operator association Branscheforenigen för Onlinespel (BOS) has criticised the proposals.

Secretary general, Gustaf Hoffstedt, said: “Online casinos have stood still, and sports betting decreased dramatically due to cancelled matches. Instead, it was betting on horses that increased dramatically.

“This was known to all players in the gaming market, such as Spelinspektionen, us and the government, but unfortunately the government persisted in the erroneous claim that online casinos would have increased and special restrictions were therefore called for.”

The association said high-volume players were moving between different operators to avoid the deposit limits, making it more difficult for operators to monitor behaviour, and that the restrictions were also likely to push players towards offshore operators.

Hoffstedt  said: “Even before the first restrictions were introduced this summer, the leakage from the Swedish licensing system was 25 per cent for online casinos.

“What the leak is today and what will happen to the extended restriction is a scary thought. The government is throwing Swedish gaming consumers out of the licensing system and into a market where consumer protection is zero.”

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igaming legislation sweden