Spelinspektionen, Sweden’s gambling authority, has spoken about the country’s recently lifted deposit cap. The regulator said that it is impossible to determine whether it had a beneficial effect or not.
Spelinspektionen Researched the Effects of Sweden’s Deposit Cap
The deposit cap in question was introduced in July 2020 as the government was concerned that the quarantine will prompt people to gamble more. The regulation ruled that bettors can deposit no more than SEK 5,000 (USD 528) a month, regardless of their income. While some praised the measure, others weren’t happy with it.
Luckily for the latter, the deposit cap got removed in November last year. When that happened, the regulator was asked to review whether the measures had any effect – beneficial or otherwise. This led Spelinspektionen to carefully examine the various data and statistics of the past few months and see whether there are any noticeable tendencies in player behavior.
The authority reviewed whether the measure reduced problem gambling and if operators complied with it. It inquired about the observances of various other bodies, including The Swedish Enforcement Agency, the Swedish Public Health Agency, and the Swedish Consumer Agency.
Spelinspektionen appealed to several other agencies, seeking to paint a bigger picture of the effects of the deposit cap. The regulator also spoke with the country’s operators and even compared all the data it received with data from the Danish gambling market.
Spelinspektionen Cannot Provide A Conclusive Answer
In the end, Spelinspektionen said that it cannot say for sure whether the deposit cap had an effect, mainly because of the eventful nature of the past few years. Therefore, the regulator concluded that it is impossible to tell whether any fluctuation in the numbers was caused by the implementation of a deposit cap or was the result of other factors.
The authority was more conclusive on several other observances. It noted that the overall problem gambling rates remained more or less unchanged during the pandemic and were noticeably higher among iGaming bettors. Additionally, the majority of operators remained compliant, although some of their peers sought to legally exploit the system. Players tended to prefer the licensed operators, although the authority was not sure if this was caused by the deposit cap or by other factors.
Spelinspektionen urged the operators to draw their conclusions on how the deposit cap affected the market.
Lastly, Spelinspektionen brought attention to the fact that the controversial deposit limit did not apply to how much a player can deposit overall but rather to how much a player can deposit per operator. That means that dedicated gamblers could just play with numerous companies, thus circumventing the cap. The regulator said that if another deposit cap needs to be implemented in the future, it will be best if it applies to all licensees.