Sweden Government Calls for Second Review on Temporary ProtectionsPublished November 20, 2020 by Lee R
The temporary measures in place to limit player vulnerability need to be clarified in Sweden.
The Swedish market is undergoing a public consultation into its temporary controls.
The consultation will consider the benefits of extending until June 2021 current temporary controls, including the SEK5,000 (£439.2/€490.0/$580.3) weekly deposit limit.
Curbing the Pandemic
The government has proposed the extension as the Covid pandemic continues to spread and grow in the region.
Minister for social security Ardalan Shekarabi expressed his organisation's “serious” concern necessitating the new review:
“We see that the development of Covid-19 is going in the wrong direction in several parts of the country.”
Risk Reduction Necessary
The minister's department has identified ongoing risks in the gambling sector, calling for government action “to reduce the risks for vulnerable consumers.”
The Current Controversial Controls
Temporary controls imposed from 2 July until year's end include the controversial SEK5,000 limit on online casino play and loss limits for land-based slots.
Limiting the Measures
The measures were originally set to cover all products and play, leading to bitter opposition which was was tempered by widespread criticism in an initial consultation on the subject.
ATG Voices Opposition
Concerns voiced by industry stakeholders led by former horse racing monopoly AB Trav och Galopp (ATG) convinced Shekarabi to narrow the limits to online casino and land-based slots.
Difficult to Enforce
Gambling regulator Spelinspektionen acknowledged the impracticality of enforcing these regulations across all operators.
Lack of Transparency
Operator association Branscheforenigen för Onlinespel (BOS) claimed the measures have resulted in “chaos” due to a veritable lack of transparency which has left most businesses unsure of how to enforce the limits.
Driving Players Offshore?
BOS also expressed concern that the requirement would discourage play and drive players to see unlicensed offshore gambling sites where the players would be at greater risk of harm.
In light of these concerns, the government hopes this second review can emulate similar measures in other jurisdictions, with stakeholders having until November 23rd to share thoughts. Hopefully, the feedback can support greater clarity in the limits which all operators can abide by easily to coordinate more effective greater player protection across Sweden's licenced sites.