Videoslots Leads a Revolt Against Tightening Restrictions in SwedenPublished May 7, 2020 by Lee R
A controversy in Sweden brews revolving around when will governments rely on the judgment of operators during Covid-19?
Leading Swedish Videoslots Casino is concerned about overly narrow protections during the Coronavirus phase pushing users into the arms of unscrupulous unlicensed operators.
The expressed concern comes as lawmakers in the region convene this week to debate the measures. The proposed protections include limits on gambling deposits along with restrictions on bonus offers set at SEK100 for customers who have to set mandatory time limits on their durations of play.
The Current Climate
The new rules are scheduled for discussion on May 7th. The strictest measures ever imposed in Europe currently include bonus limits on first-time customers, deposit limits of 10,000 SEK on interaction with players; and ensuring players are not registered with the national Spelpaus self-exclusion program before being allowed to play.
The objections at Videoslots that more proposed changes would render licensed operators non-competitive were originally expressed by General Counsel Ewout Wierda.
A Copenhagen Economics report commissioned by the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (which includes Videoslots) confirmed that Sweden's online casino industry is already exposed to fierce competition from unlicensed providers: 58% of players responding confirming that forced restrictions on bonus schemes drive them to unlicensed sites.
The changes would serve to decrease rather than increase channelization, or the share of gambling taking place on regulated sites, with a target goal of 90% currently established by the Swedish government.
Ewout Wierda believes that at some point the government should rely on the judgment of licensed operators: “Videoslots agrees with the licensing objectives and has invested a significant amount of time and money in sophisticated systems to keep a risk-based focus on customers who need protection.”
If operators can be transparent and demonstrative about the measures they are taking as individuals and as a professional group, maybe they can assuage government concerns—as long as the operators immediately show results.