Sweden Introducing New Gambling Limits as Response to COVID-19 Situation

Ivan P. - July 2, 2020

The new set of protective measures will come into effect on July 2 and will include weekly deposit caps of up to 5,000 SEK as well as restrictions on the time spent gambling.

Authorities in Sweden are continuing their plan to tackle dangers connected to big spike in online gambling that came about as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions. Seeing how there are more and more players looking to gamble online during the crisis, Swedish regulators have announced a new set of limitations that will come into force on June 2 and will likely be a big blow for the iGaming industry in the country.

Deposit Limits & Time Restrictions

The most serious limitation that online casinos will have to deal with after July 2 is the one that addresses the maximum deposit. Namely, players will only be allowed to deposit 5,000 SEK (around €475) in any given week. Additionally, all operators will only be allowed to offer bonuses up to 100 SEK, seriously reducing their ability to attract new or entice existing players.

Players themselves will also have to impose the time limit on their gambling sessions. So, in addition to the deposit cap, Swedish players will effectively spend less time playing online, at least when they play with properly regulated Swedish casinos.

The limitations won't apply to sports betting and horse racing but other forms of online gambling, primarily slots and casino games are covered.

Licensed Operators Facing the Heat

Ardalan Shekarabi, Sweden's social security minister justifies these measures as necessary to protect Swedish consumers. Simultaneously, the government is running studies to gain more in-depth knowledge about how the situation caused by the pandemic is affecting problem gambling.

But licensed Swedish operators don't share this view.

The Association of Swedish Gambling Operators is trying to urge the government to reconsider the proposal as it will only affect regulated casinos, pushing players towards offshore sites. Thus, licensed providers will take the hit while players might seek action elsewhere and continue to play in an unprotected environment.

It seems that Swedish authorities are set on implementing their plan, though, and aren't interested in alternative control and protection measures suggested by the operators' association. So, there is nothing left to do for licensed online casinos in Sweden but to prepare for new changes rolling out on July 2 and see how the scenario will play out.



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