The Swedish government has announced that Sweden’s controversial restrictions on online gambling – including a monthly deposit ceiling of SEK 5,000 (£ 424 / € 491 / $ 600) for online casinos – will end as planned on 14 November.
However, the government called on the gaming supervisory authority Spelinspektionen to “evaluate” the measures taken, and to propose new measures to strengthen player protection.
“Turnover in the gaming market has increased and online gaming has probably benefited from changing consumption patterns since the reregulation,” said Ardalan Shekarabi, Minister of Social Insurance.
“There is a risk that this has led to a long-term behavioral change with increased gambling. It is a development that should be followed up to see if there is a need for further measures. “
The Swedish Gaming Inspectorate shall submit a report on the evaluation of the temporary measures no later than 15 March 2022, with the deadline for the remainder of the report being 31 October 2023.
The temporary restrictions came into force in June 2020. They included a deposit ceiling of SEK 5,000 at online casinos, together with a limit of SEK 100 for bonuses. At that time, they were set to run until the end of 2020.
The date of 14 November was an extension introduced in May this year, after the date had previously been extended to June 2021.
When he announced the second extension, Ardalan Shekarabi, Minister of Social Insurance, spoke about how the effects of the new coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) had caused economic unrest for many Swedes.
“In the wake of the pandemic, we see continued risks in the gaming area, which means we must act to reduce the risks to vulnerable consumers,” Shekarabi said in November 2020.
– The situation is very serious.
The decision to impose restrictions turned out to be controversial. During a consultation held on the matter, concerns emerged from many groups.
The Swedish Gaming Inspectorate proposed that the restrictions would only have a “marginal effect” on player protection measures for operators, and argued that the measures could benefit the black market.
The Swedish Gaming Inspectorate also called the deposit limit of SEK 5,000 “relatively high”.