BOS – Swedish channelisation strategy failing to meet casino

Swedish trade association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) has published a report revealing that channelisation rates for both online casino and sports betting are tracking significantly below government expectations.

Since the market reopened on 1 January 2019, it is estimated that between 80% and 85% of players have been channelled to licensed sports betting sites. This dropped for online casino sites however, with a figure between 72% and 78% of players channelled to legal sites.

“There is no doubt that the licensing system is under heavy pressure when it comes to the gambling verticals sports betting and online casino. It is irresponsible to even consider further restrictions towards the locally licensed operators in those verticals, since we know that such restrictions push the punters away from the licensed market to the unregulated illegal market with its non-existent customer protection,” said Gustaf Hoffstedt, BOS Secretary-General.

“The future for the Swedish licensing system is now determined by the authorities and the Government’s ability to abstain from further restrictions towards locally licensed operators.”

The figures have fallen significantly below Spelinspektionen’s prediction that between 85% and 87% of players are gambling via licensed operators.

Hoffstedt continued: “There is no doubt that the licensing system is under heavy pressure when it comes to the gambling verticals, sports betting and online casino.

“It is irresponsible to even consider further restrictions towards the locally licensed operators in those verticals, since we know that such restrictions push the punters away from the licensed market to the unregulated illegal market with its non-existent customer protection.

Last week, Swedish gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen was forced by order of the Ministry of Health to enforce a weekly deposit limit SEK 5000 (€500) across all online gambling verticals, starting on 1 June until further notice.

National Health Minister Ardalan Shekarabi, who sanctioned the enforcement, stated that the deposit limits were a necessary measure, as the government could not afford the dangers of gambling addiction whilst it implemented its social lockdown orders.

“First of all, Minister Ardalan Shekarabi must withdraw his proposed additional restrictions from last week towards licensed operators. Secondly the Gambling Market Inquiry headed by Anna-Lena Sörenson must abstain any suggestions on additional prohibitions regarding marketing for licensed operators.

“And thirdly the Swedish Gambling Authority must withdraw its suggested additional restrictions for sports betting towards licensed operators, like prohibitions on betting on friendly matches and lower divisions in football.”

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