Sweden: Casino restrictions apply until summer 2021
Just in the last few months in Kenya looked a lot at the Scandinavian country Sweden. The Swedes went their own way during the corona pandemic and relied on an orderly everyday life. There were initially no plans to close companies, restaurants or bars. Exactly the same was true for arcades or betting shops. While these had long since had to close the doors in other nations, things could continue as normal in Sweden. Only the online casinos were slowed down with various restrictions. At the time, this caused misunderstandings. And due to an extension of these restrictions, the lack of understanding hasn't exactly diminished either.
Sweden regulates online casinos: fear of pandemic gambling addiction
Sweden has done a lot differently than many other countries in the last few months. A look at the gambling industry shows that. In Kenya, betting shops, arcades and casinos have been closed amid the pandemic. In Sweden, these were allowed to remain open for a long time.Politics there focused primarily on online gambling. Not without reason: The Swedish gambling market is still very young. The country and the population lack the "experience" in dealing with gambling. The government's fear: Due to the increased time in their own four walls, people could become addicted to gambling more quickly, since online casinos are available around the clock.
For this reason, the governmentvarious regulations already came into being in the spring of this year. From then on, each player was only allowed to deposit a maximum of 5,000 crowns per week, which corresponds to around 490 euros. In addition to this, players had to set a time limit before each game and were only able to enjoy fairly limited welcome bonuses. Providers have always been only allowed to spend a maximum of 100 crowns, the equivalent of almost ten euros, as a welcome bonus.
Misunderstanding of restrictions in the casino industry
For the gambling industry, the restrictions were a severe setback at the time. Unsurprisingly, the industry quickly expressed its lack of understanding. Thebranch association BOS, for example, stated that there was no evidence that players in online casinos would succumb to the passion for gambling faster than in the stationary area. However, that is exactly what Sweden's social security minister, Ardalan Shekarabi, said when the restrictions were introduced. It was then said within the industry that the minister's conclusion was inconsistent. In addition, providers felt they were being treated unfairly, since only minor restrictions were implemented in the land-based area.
A decision by the Swedish government in the summer caused further misunderstanding. Here they decided that online horse betting should be an exception to other online gambling games. This caused an uproar in the gaming industry, and not without reason. After all, the only horse betting provider in the country, "Trav och Galopp", is in the hands of the state. Resistance to this decision grew, and the state backtracked. All online sports betting has always been treated as an exception. How companies that offer both sports betting and casino games should behave is so far completely unclear.
One foot on the brake until summer
It is clear, however, that the restrictions for online casinos will continue to apply until summer 2021. The government had already decided this at the end of 2020. Originally, the restrictions should only apply until the end of 2020. Unsurprisingly, this extension of the restrictions also causes a lack of understanding in the gaming industry. The gambling association BOS let it be known that it was a wrong wayProhibit licensed gambling companies from advertising their products. This would clear the way for non-licensed providers and push even more players onto the illegal market. This in turn would result in a massive reduction in player protection and could lead to the Swedish gambling market becoming completely less attractive.
The Swedish government announced before the introduction of the new restrictions thatchanneling around 90 percent of all players is the desired goal. Means: Only a maximum of ten percent of all players should be active on the black market - if at all. According to reports, before the new restrictions, the industry had already reached more than 70 percent. The industry fears that this actually good path could be interrupted or reversed by the new restrictions.
Hardly any losses for the online sector
Despite the restrictions and new requirements, the Swedish gaming sector was able to actually a good year. As reported by Swedish media,sales are said to have remained stable in the first three quarters of 2020. In the same period of the previous year, the companies achieved sales of around 1.77 billion euros. This year sales are estimated at a good 1.75 billion euros. Turnover from pure online gambling even grew slightly. While it was around 1.01 billion euros in the first three quarters of 2019, around 1.07 billion euros were turned over in 2020 with sports betting and online casinos.