The Swedish government has submitted a proposal to extend the COVID-19 deposit cap on online gaming again until 14 November to ensure the safety of customers
The Swedish government has initiated a proposal to extend the COVID-19 deposit cap, in addition to a SEK5,000 monthly deposit limit, on online gambling until 14 November. In addition to a deposit limit, the government has included limitations on playing time on online casinos and gaming machines.
The extension to the regulation, which was most recently set to end by June 2021, was in reaction to concerns over the current spike in COVID-19 cases in Sweden.
Swedish Minister of Social Insurance Ardalan Shekarabi shared in a statement:
We see that the spread of Covid-19 is still high in Sweden, the current situation entails great risks for consumers in the gaming market,
We therefore need to act to reduce the risks for the most vulnerable consumers.
While the move was put in place back in July 2020 to mitigate problem gambling during the COVID-19 pandemic, gambling activity rates have overall decreased since the pandemic began.
Furthermore, Swedish online industry association Branscheforenigen för Onlinespel's (BOS) Gustaf Hoffstedt warns that the extension will cause more customers to seek unlicensed operators:
The leakage for online casinos is particularly high, where as much as every fourth gaming krona is played outside the Swedish licensed market.
To extend restrictions that are disapproved by gaming consumers is to ask for continued problems for the channelling into the licensed market when it comes to online casinos.
It is provocative that the Swedish government in a rhetoric about caring for the consumer in practice does the opposite and hurts the Swedish gaming license market with its strong consumer protection,
The deposit caps have been generally unfavourable from players, regulators and operators alike. In fact, Kindred Group responded to Sweden’s plan to extend the online casino restrictions until June 30th 2021, deeming it unjustified.
The final verdict will be reached by 3 May as the proposed memorandum will remain open for consultation until then.
See also: Swedish gaming operators filing money laundering reports increased by 14.8% in 2020 compared to 2019
Source: iGaming Business
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