A minister in Sweden has submitted a new proposal to exclude sports betting from the country’s much-criticised limit on deposits.
Sweden.- The Minister for Social Security, Ardalan Shekarabi, has presented a proposed adjustment to exclude sports betting from the strict deposit limits imposed on online gambling by the Swedish government last month.
In April, Sweden imposed a SEK5,000 (€459) per week deposit limit on online gambling designed to protect players during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The measure has been widely criticised by the industry as data suggests more players than previously thought were using illegal sites where there are no limits in place.
Industry association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) said the new proposal to exclude sports betting from the deposit limits showed the government’s measures to be contradictory and biased.
BOS Secretary General, Gustaf Hoffstedt, said in a statement: “The new suggestion is impossible to understand from a consumer protection perspective.
“Since the first governmental suggestions were presented, we have received data from the Swedish Gambling Authority and the Swedish Tax Authority showing that online casino has not increased during Covid-19, whereas horse betting has exploded.
“Against all rationality the government now wants to exclude horse betting from further regulation whereas online casinos shall receive further restrictions.
“It is obvious that the government’s actions despite its rhetoric have nothing to do with consumer protection, but rather to do with an aim to provide benefits to gambling companies that are closely connected to the government, such as horse betting company ATG, which has the majority of its board members appointed by the government.
“The government is aware of the alarming low channelisation for online casinos, and it just doesn’t seem to care. It’s a huge loss for consumer protection in Sweden.”