Spelinspektionen Warns Swedish Government Implementation of New Online Casino Stake Limits May Take Longer Than Planned

The gambling regulatory body of Sweden, Spelinspektionen, has continued to criticize the new casino stake limits and informed the Government that the amendments that are set to be made may take more time than initially expected as they may turn out more difficult to be implemented.

In May 2020, Swedish Minister of Health Ardalan Shekarabi unveiled proposals for weekly casino deposit limit amounting to SEK5,000 and casino welcome bonuses limit of SEK100. The proposal, however, faced much criticism by both gambling industry leaders and other stakeholders.

At first, the above-mentioned proposals were set to be brought into effect on June 1st. However, the country’s government decided to postpone the enforcement of the measure to July 2nd, with the amended rules being applied to online casino products only.

Since then, the local gambling regulator has remained against the new restrictions. Now, it has highlighted that it may not be possible for a July 2nd deadline to be met. According to Spelinspektionen, the implementation of the new regulations on casino gaming products only, rather than on the entire gambling industry, would be more challenging and would take more time to be done.

Recently, BOS, the Swedish online gaming trade body, has published an independent market analysis that was prepared by Copenhagen Economics, according to which online casino channelization rates could fall by more than 50% in case the country’s Government proceeds with the planned enforcement of the above-mentioned measures.

Gambling Regulatory Body Maintains Criticism to Proposed Online Casino Stake Limits

Spelinspektionen shared that it had no detailed information about the extent of the planned amendments, but still, it believed that those changes could require new certification of the systems to some extent, not to mention the fact they were both considered time-consuming. That is exactly why Swedish gambling watchdog said there was a risk that there were license holders that would not be able to meet the new requirements within the proposed period.

The gambling watchdog further noted that gambling operators could find different spending limits for different games hard to handle in cases where the company has been authorized to offer both commercial online betting and gaming.

Nine Swedish CEOs approached the Government yesterday with a joint statement that asks the lawmakers to reconsider what it called “unrealistic” proposals aimed at making further restrictions on the online gambling sector. The proponents of the restrictions, however, say they are targeting the unlicensed market in an attempt to establish better control and prevent such operations from accessing Swedish customers.

The nine CEOs have suggested an alternative to the new deposit limit changes proposed by the country’s Ministry of Finance, offering the implementation of some countermeasures that would help the promotion of safer gambling standards. The proposed countermeasures include the promotion of Spelpaus, a self-exclusion register available go Swedish gamblers; further expansion of the oversight that Spelinspektionen carries out on the market; an enhanced collection of player data and risk ratings; licensing requirements’ expansion to technology provisions and the integration of an IQ campaign.