The Swedish government plans on introducing new restrictions, as well as extend the current COVID-19 restrictions, on the gaming industry until the end of June 2021
A memorandum has been drafted to identify what the new restrictions will be. Some of the proposals, that can be found in the directive which has been submitted for examination until 23 November 2020, are extensions to previous regulations such as the SEK5,000 deposit limit for online games.
“We see that the development of COVID-19 is going in the wrong direction in several parts of the country. The situation is very serious. In the wake of the pandemic, we see continued risks in the area of gambling, which means that we need to act to reduce the risks for vulnerable consumers,” said Minister of Social Insurance Ardalan Shekarabi (pictured below).
Other proposals found on the memorandum have indicated that there will be a mandatory limit on playing time for those wagering via online casinos and ATMs. Furthermore, bonuses will be limited to just SEK100 by operators who provide online casinos and ATMs.
These restrictions, similarly to the current measures, are likely to receive a considerable amount of criticism from the gaming industry as stakeholders are concerned over the channelisation of rates.
The Swedish regulator is also wary of these measures being introduced. The regulator stated that, the SEK5,000 deposit limit will substantially reduce the number of players gambling during the pandemic while it may also encourage gamblers to look at unlicensed operators, which will result in the consumer having little to no protection.
Backing the Swedish regulator, the European Gaming and Betting Association added that ‘the proposed deposit limit could have unintended and detrimental effects – and harm more customers than they protect’ and ‘will do more to hit gambling and tax revenues’.
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