The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has argued that Sweden’s regulated market will be put into jeopardy due to the newly proposed iGaming controls
Sweden has seen already seen some changes related to responsible gambling throughout the year, with login limits and restrictions on welcome bonuses all extended till June 2021. In addition to these restrictions, Sweden’s Gambling Market Commission (Spelmarknadsutredningen) has also recommended adding constraints on advertising to enhance player protection.
However, in a report on their website, the EGBA think that the latest proposed measures could cause a higher level of risk.
EGBA is concerned that the frequency and scope of regulatory changes in Sweden jeopardises the overall success of the country’s online gambling regulation and its ability to provide Swedes with a safe, attractive and regulated online environment where they can bet.
Therefore, there are concerns that, if these new regulations pass, then the government risks pushing local punters towards the black market, jeopardising their safety as well as the country’s successful online gambling regulation. For example, the imposed restriction on deposit limits, although a good intention, will more likely drive customers towards unregulated markets since it will allow them to bypass these limits.
Sweden has experienced a high number of proposed changes to their regulation and although the EGBA supports well-regulated online gambling markets, the constant pressure to change a regulation which was established less than two years ago, has created instability for the country’s licenced companies.
The EGBA has called for a regulatory balance by the Swedish authorities and consider the effects of more restrictions imposed on the licensed and regulated Swedish market.
EGBA members, including BOS, accept their shared responsibility to protect customers, and we are continuously considering what we can do more, but, fundamentally, the best way to protect customers is to ensure they play inside the regulated market with companies who are licensed in and apply the consumer protection laws in Sweden. The cumulative effect of more restrictions on the Swedish market will be less channelling and more unregulated black market gambling. Despite being well-intentioned, this would be clearly counter-productive and will damage the safety of the consumer.
Lastly, EGBA also focused on a survey, commissioned by Spelinspektionen, which found that Swedish players struggled to identify differences between a licenced and unlicenced market, with only 5% aware of knowing how to check whether an online gambling site was licenced or not.
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