Posted on: 28 Jan 2022, 06:20.
Last updated: January 28, 2022, 06:20.
In a surprising break from the norm, Sweden will not tighten the boundaries for online gaming harder. The government has decided that a further reduced limit recently proposed is not necessary.
Swedish authorities recently began to have the idea of introducing a new ceiling for iGaming deposits. Instead of the recently set limit of SEK 5,000 ($ 529), the new limit would be SEK 4,000 ($ 423).
The previous limit was a result of concerns about an increase in iGaming activity due to covid-19. When the omicron variant became a threat, it seemed like a new, lower lid made sense.
The Swedish Gaming Inspectorate, the country’s gaming supervisory authority, stood behind the new borders. However, it did not get its way. The measures, which included a limit of 100 SEK ($ 44) for registration bonuses, were to be approved as of yesterday. They are now off the table.
We are in favor of strong regulation of the gaming market and a prerequisite for this is that the intention of various reforms can also be expected to have the intended effect. That was not the case [COVID-19] restrictions, and it is therefore welcome that they are withdrawn, says Gustaf Hoffstedt, Secretary General of the Swedish Trade Association for online gaming.
New rules on the way
The trend on call in countries around the world is to continue to tighten the screws that hold the iGaming lid in place. It is a bit surprising that Sweden would back down, but cooler heads prevailed. Evidence showed, according to industry insiders, that the increased limits did nothing to reduce gambling damage.
This does not mean that other restrictions will not come. Sweden has examined new rules and regulations, some of which have been approved this week. Finance Minister Ardalan Shekarabi released an update on Wednesday.
All iGaming software providers must be licensed in the country. This should reduce the amount of unlicensed gaming activities, according to the Ministry of Finance.
An existing ban on the marketing of unlicensed gambling sites will also continue. Promotion of legal activities will not disappear, but is likely to find new restrictions.
An item on the list raises concerns about its ambiguity. The Ministry of Finance wants to introduce a “market disruption fine” for operators.
This sanction would come if an operator targets consumers through marketing that can be considered “disruptive”. In this context, there is as yet no definition of disturbance, which is the source of the confusion.
There is another rule when the country tries to “regain control” of its gambling market. All licensed entities would be responsible for providing regular information about their public – not private – activity. This, the ministry claims, would make it possible to define and track trends and developments in the industry.
With the exception of occasional changes, the new rules will enter into force on January 1, 2023.