swedish government green lights tighter restrictions despite industry backlashby Joker 12.06.2020 0 comments
Sweden’s government has given the green light for temporary restrictions to be placed on the country’s regulated gaming market despite industry protests against the measures.
The measures will be rolled out from 2 July and remain in place until the end of the year. The SEK5,000 weekly deposit and SEK100 bonus offer limits, which will not be applicable to the horse racing and sports betting industry, will affect the country’s online casino and slots sector.
Minister of Health Ardalan Shekarabi said: “As a result of the current pandemic, we see a mix of circumstances that together create great risks in the gaming sector. These need to be counteracted. With these measures, the government will strengthen the protection of Swedish consumers.”
In addition to the deposit and bonus limits, players will also be required to set time limits on online casino games.
SEK500,000 has also been allocated for funding the country’s Public Health Authority to carry out research into the rates of problem gambling during the pandemic, with a report due to be presented to the Ministry of Social Affairs by the end of February 2021.
“We need in-depth knowledge of how problem gambling is affected by the corona pandemic,” social minister Lena Hallengren said. “This is important for preventing gambling addiction in the future.”
The proposed measures have faced substantial backlash from the betting and gaming industry, with nine CEOs claiming that the ‘unrealistic proposals’ will ‘play into the hands of the unlicensed market’.
The alternative measures proposed in an open letter appear to have been dismissed by the government, however, and may pose greater risk to the rates of channelisation in Sweden according to a report by Copenhagen Economics.