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Sweden imposes restrictions on online casinos

In Sweden, online gambling providers have only been able to license since 2019 obtain. And less than 1.5 years later, the government imposes restrictions. These were originally issued due to the corona pandemic and should only be valid until the end of this year. It has now been announced that the restrictions will apply until the middle of next year.

Stadtansicht von Stockholm.

The restrictions on online gambling in Sweden that were decided in the spring of this year will be extended further. A betting limit still applies.(©12019/Pixabay)

Restrictions are intended to increase player security

In general, restrictions are always only enacted to protect the players. So also in Sweden. The government has decided that now onlyalmost 480 euros per week can be deposited by a player. The small catch: This sum applies to all online casinos in which a player is registered. The problem, however, is that gambling operators don't know how to check if someone uses the betting limit more often.

Of course, the betting limit should prevent a player from becoming over-indebted. Apparently it is expected that thebehaviour could change during the Corona crisis and that the players suddenly risk more than before. To counteract this, the players themselves should determine how long they want to play at all. Because one thing is clear: if you play longer, you bet more money and would have more opportunities to get into debt.

The foundation for the restrictions was laid byMinister of Social Security: Ardalan Shekarabi, who fears that many are no longer playing responsibly. However, the restrictions were planned well in advance and were announced in the spring of this year. In the end, it is now just an extension of the restrictions that have been in place for months.

Other countries are also reacting with restrictions

A betting limit of the equivalent of 480 euros per week may sound very low to many players. However, other countries, for example Belgium, also have a limit of 500 euros per week. And if you take a look at the new Canadian State Treaty on Gambling, you will see: Should this treaty come into force, theCanadians may only bet 1000 euros per month. So the limitations seem to be acceptable.

Latvia reacted quite differently andissued a temporary ban on gambling. The measures in Spain do not appear to be quite as drastic: there is a restricted advertising permit. Gambling ads will only be aired a few hours a day. The times are in the night and should prevent youngsters from starting to gamble online.

Nothing was reported about an advertising ban in Sweden. Thus, the restrictions are kept within limits and can be accepted by the online casinos - one might think so. But that is not the case and the operators are not only annoyed about themaximum bonus of 100 SEK. The government's view is: the lower the new customer bonus, the less interesting it appears. And fewer new customers are signing up.

BOS is against the restrictions

The Swedish online gambling association BOSharsh criticism of the restrictions. These could lead to many players switching to unlicensed online casinos. Until nowno changed behavior in the online casinos could be observed. The restrictions would only result in online gambling operators earning less. This is already the case. Even at well-known online casinos like LeoVegas, sales have fallen by 20 percent in recent months. The sports betting industry is also struggling with a drop in sales.

BOS bases its statement regarding unchanged player behavior onan investigation by Svenska Spel. However, BOS did not provide any further details on this investigation. Svenska Spel is the state gaming operator in Sweden. Until the gambling reform, he had the monopoly for all games of chance.

Furthermore, theSwedish Gaming Authority Spelinspektionen admits that the online casinos cannot easily implement the stipulated restrictions. The main problem is also seen in the lack of control of the betting limit.

It is difficult for BOS to understand why the betting limits only apply to online casinos and slot machines.The stake limit does not apply to sports betting. In addition, the restrictions could lead to irritations between the licensed providers.

ATG agrees to restrictions despite falling sales

Although the company ATG is also posting lower sales, it agrees to the restrictions. According to ATG, these would increase player security. The company that used to hold the monopoly on horse betting has evendefined a loss limit for its own customers. This measure would offer much more security than a betting limit. The creation of a loss limit may be due to the fact that ATG is not affected by the betting limit.

As originally planned in the spring of this year, sports betting should also have been affected. AfterATG complained about this, the betting limits were only set for certain areas of gambling, as mentioned above.

ATG's CEO emphasizes that a loss limit should be maintained even after the Corona crisis. Given that many online casinos already offer setting a loss limit, this idea seems to make real sense. If the loss limit were set individually, players would get the most benefit from it.

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The article was published on November 18th, 2020 in the magazine by cpaws-ov.org under the keywords, ,,, ,, published.
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