Sweden to ban autoplay and reverse withdrawals

The regulator has also introduced new reporting requirements.
The regulator has also introduced new reporting requirements.

The Swedish gambling regulator has also prohibited operators from suggesting what limits players should impose.

Sweden.- The gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has announced new rules prohibiting autoplay in online slots and banning reverse withdrawals (the cancellation of a withdrawal before it reaches their account). Operators must also log players out if they have been inactive for more than two minutes or give them an option to choose whether to remain logged in.

Operators have also been prohibited from suggesting what limits players should impose for time, deposits and losses. The new rules see Sweden follow other jurisdictions that have banned autoplay, including Britain. Both indefinite autoplay and autoplay for a set number of spins will be banned.

Spelinspektonen said it recognised that the new rules may be unpopular with players, and it suggested that operators communicate them in advance before they come into effect.

It said: “It is likely that players who use these features will react to their removal. It would therefore be good to communicate that the change is taking place because these features are risky and are associated with problem gambling.”

The regulator is also introducing new requirements for employee training on responsible gambling, clarifying the focus that training should have and adding a requirement to include the impact of gambling harm on loved ones.

Other clarifications include a rule that players must also be able to communicate with operators, while operators must display the Spelpaus self-exclusion scheme logo.

For retail slots at non-casino locations, Spelinspektionen has added an additional element beyond operators being required to provide players with information on their annual losses when they log in. Players must now confirm if they are still happy to play while these figures are on the screen.

There are new rules on reporting, too. Operators must report how many players set monthly deposit limits of above SEK10,000 (€930) and how many reached their time or deposit limits. They must also inform the regulator how many players returned to play after self-exclusion.

Last month, Spelinspektionen hit the Swedish horse racing betting operator AB Trav och Galopp (ATG) with a SEK2m (€187,500) penalty fee for self-exclusion failings. The self-exclusion function was not available to some customers using the operator’s services for two weeks between January 13 and 28. Specifically, the function was unavailable to customers who logged in using a mobile bank ID.

As has happened previously, ATG informed the regulator of the failings itself. It said the fault was caused by a technical problem related to an update made to the login system. The operator said it identified the glitch on January 27 and fixed it within 24 hours.

ATG reported revenue of SEK 2.59bn (€245m) for the first half of 2022. That’s a drop of 2 per cent year-on-year. Meanwhile, operating profit was down by 14 per cent from SEK 917m (€86m) to SEK 805m (€76.1m).

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