Two weeks after the special pandemic gambling measures have been implemented, the Swedish gambling industry is asking the country’s regulator to clarify on how to best implement the new regulatory requirements.
Gaming Industry in Sweden Calls for Clarity on Depositing Limits
With the roll-out of new gambling measures designed to protect consumers during the novel coronavirus pandemic and lockdown period, Sweden’s Ministry of Social Security and Minister Ardalan Shekarabi may have confused license-holders. Yet, the confusion has surfaced only after the implementation of the measures was completed and each company chose to follow them differently.
The Branscheforenigen for Onlinespel (BOS), Sweden’s gaming association trade body, has alarmed the government that the temporary deposit limits have caused confusion among licensees.
BOS secretary-general Gustaf Hoffstedt has appealed to the Spelinspektionen, the country’s gaming regulator, to help set out clear terms for how the new deposit limits, amounting to $500 weekly, should be applied.
The regulator and the country’s government implemented the new measures on July 2, but nearly two weeks after their enactment, the measures have created “different interpretations,” Hoffstedt has said.
Some operators have included sports betting, although the government has made no official request for sports betting deposit limits to be restricted. In seeking a resolution, Hoffstedt assumed a conciliatory tone of voice with the Spelinspektionen, cited by iGaming Business:
“We are not envious of Spelinspektionen, which did not itself support the changes, but unfortunately it is now their task to clarify very quickly with regard to the deposit restrictions.”
He continued by urging the Spelinspektionen to clarify the issue quickly as, the industry was convinced, the only parties to win out of the current impasse were offshore gaming operators. Hoffstedt reminded that all license-holders were looking forward to the regulator for more guidance.
The New Measures Need to Be Unambiguous
The newly-introduced measures were subject to a heated debate within the industry. The $500-betting limits were proposed in April and originally should have kicked in on June 1.
The measures originally had to cover both sports betting and iGaming, but the former was excised from the language of the proposal and Minister Shekarabi decided to defer the implementation date to July 1.
The industry was quick to react, condemning the measures and explaining they would only push more people into the offshore gaming segment, creating unhealthy gambling patterns the measures were trying to limit in the first place.
Hoffstedt did mention that the legal framework on which the latest measures were based was “poorly-written,” and led to a potentially wrongful interpretation of the measures. As a result, Swedish operators now fear that they may face millions in hefty fines if the language in the law isn’t clarified, Hoffstedt and industry experts have cauitoned.