Equality Commission Report in Sweden Proposes Limits on Gambling Time

Equality Commission’s report proposed limits for the working hours of gambling in the country. The report also called for fresh funds for battling of gambling-related harm.

The Proposed “Working Hours” for Gambling Activities

A new report by the Jämlikhetskommissionen, which is Sweden’s Equality Commission proposed limits on gambling times. The paper proposed that gambling in the country is to be offered only at certain hours of the day. Although no precise “working hours” were proposed by the Jämlikhetskommissionen, it vowed that a more detailed offer will be made following further research on the subject.

However, the report did outline that the bigger part of gambling activities are conducted on Fridays and Saturdays. Besides the “working hours”, the Jämlikhetskommissionen also proposed a betting limit. The paper offered the limit to be monitored by a government structure which oversees the whole gaming market in the country.

Last month, the Spelinspektionen which is the Swedish Gambling Authority said that some licensed gambling brands in the country have failed to create consumer protection mechanisms. This, according to the Authority placed many people at risk of gambling-related harm.

In that line of thoughts, the latest report by the Equality Commission called for fresh funding. According to the paper, the fresh funds will help in the local governments implement a more targeted approach towards reducing of gambling harm. The paper also outlined that the available resources for battling gambling harm have stayed the same since 2017.

Problem Gambling in Sweden

The Equality Commission’s most recent report also brought up data about problem gambling. According to the report gambling addiction is observed in 2% of the population in Sweden. With that in mind, out of this 2% some 0.4% of the people are suffering from severe gambling addiction. In addition, Jämlikhetskommissionen said that a small group of gamblers are responsible for nearly half of the money spent on gambling. The report based this statement on numbers from 2017.

Back in June, a study by Anders C. Håkansson, a psychiatry professor at Lund University shared a new insight on the habits of Swedish gamblers. The study was focused on the impact of COVID-19 on gambling in Sweden. It found that despite that the number of gamblers has decreased in the COVID-19 period, the high-risk gamblers had gambled more.

Turning our eyes to the most recent report, it found no definitive proof of association of problem gambling and high income individuals. Instead, the report outlined that individuals with lower income can be easily impacted by gambling-related harm. The report also called for additional efforts in prevention of gambling-related harm pointing out policies which are currently active for alcohol as an example. The Equality Commission’s report also noted that stricter regulation on gambling may negatively impact the market.

Here it is important to mention that back in June Sweden introduced stricter online gambling restrictions. In an effort to protect vulnerable players from gambling-related harm, the country introduced a $500 weekly deposit limit and bonus for this limit no bigger than $10. But even before the implementation of measures, the Swedish Gambling Authority warned that such restrictive measures can push players towards the black market.

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