Sweden’s government has proposed an extension to its monthly online casino deposit limits until November 14.
Sweden.- What was initially to be a temporary measure for six months looks set to be extended again.
Sweden introduced controversial online casino deposit limits of SEK5,000 (€492) per month on July 1 last year.
Initially due to last six months to prevent a potential rise in problem gaming at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the measure was then extended until June this year.
The government is now looking to extend the measure, which also includes a strict SEK100 limit on bonus offers, until November 14.
Several operators have been sanctioned by the Swedish regulator for breaching the new rules, but Kindred Group recently won an appeal against a court injunction brought against it.
The new memorandum also mentions an obligation for players to set limits on playing time. It will be open for consultation until May 3.
Sweden’s minister of social security Ardalan Shekarabi said: “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.”
Response from the Swedish igaming industry
The Swedish online industry association Branscheforenigen för Onlinespel (BOS) has criticised the proposal, arguing that it will push more players to unlicensed operators.
Chairman Gustaf Hoffstedt said: “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 channelling into the licensed market when it comes to online casinos.
“It is provocative that the Swedish government in a rhetoric about caring for the consumer in practice does the opposite and hurts the Swedish gaming licensed market with its strong consumer protection.”