Swedish regulator: iGaming deposit cap is unenforceable

Deposit caps for online casinos were introduced on July 2.
Deposit caps for online casinos were introduced on July 2.

Spelinspektionen says there is no way to prevent players from passing the new spending cap by using accounts with different operators.

Sweden.- The country’s gaming inspectorate, Spelinspektionen, has said it has no way of enforcing the country’s new weekly limits on deposits, losses and session times for online casino gaming across multiple operators. 

It has admitted that the caps can only be enforced for individual licensees so that players that hold accounts with more than one licensee could easily spend more than the new SEK5,000 (€484) weekly limit by spreading play across different operators’ products.

Sweden introduced the cap, along with time limits on gaming sessions, on July 2.

The Swedish Equality Commission (Jämlikhetskommissionen) has argued that to make the new limits enforceable there needs to be a central register through which both operators and the regulator can see how much a player has deposited across all gaming accounts.

However Spelinspektionen has warned that the measure would combine a great deal of sensitive personal data from players and confidential business information from licensees.

It said the surveillance of players’ online activity could also be seen as contrary to internet freedom and would need to be tested against the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights.

It made the observation in its latest and last monthly report on gaming activity during the pandemic. 

It reported that online gaming revenue for June rose 5 per cent year-on-year to SEK1.17billion. Lottery and gaming machine revenue at Svenska Spel climbed 11 per cent to SEK428million, but restaurant casinos’ revenue fell to SEK10million. Svenska Spel’s Casino Cosmopol venues remain closed. 

Spelinspektionen noted it had issued injunctions against 23 providers in an attempt to block “hundreds” of unlicensed online casino sites, but said its efforts to block payments to unlicensed operators had faced some challenges from financial institutions refusing to provide confidential customer information. 

The regulator said it will now aim to get a special provision added to the country’s Gaming Act to oblige banks to provide information when it is to be used to close illegal operations.

Spelinspektionen said it was negotiating a memorandum of understanding with the Netherlands gambling regulator, Kansspelautoreit, and was in talks with the Curaçao Gaming Control Board over a licensee it says is targeting Swedish customers.

Svenska Spel this week announced that it would permanently close its Casino Cosmopol venue in Sundsvall.

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