Swedish gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen has warned the government that it may be difficult to meet the 2 July deadline to implement deposit limits.
Last month, Minister of Health Ardalan Shekarabi submitted proposals for a weekly deposit limit of SEK5,000 as well as a SEK100 limit on welcome bonuses – a directive that has been widely criticised by both industry leadership and wider stakeholders.
These proposals were initially due to come into force on 1 June, however, a government amendment pushed back the enforcement to 2 July, with the rules made applicable to online casino products.
The regulator has maintained its criticism of the measures, emphasising that a 2 July deadline may not be met. Spelinspektionen underscores that applying the new regulations specifically to casino games, rather than making them applicable across all gambling verticals, would pose more of a challenge and make the implementation more ‘time-consuming’.
“The Gaming Inspectorate has no detailed knowledge of the extent of the changes involved, but it cannot be ruled out that these are changes that are both time-consuming and that can, to some extent, require recertification of the systems,” it said.
“Therefore, there is a risk that there are licensees who cannot meet the new requirements within the proposed time.
“Different limits for different games can in themselves pose a difficulty for the gaming companies in cases where the operator has a license to provide both commercial online betting and gaming.”
Yesterday, nine Swedish CEOs signed a joint statement which called for the government to reconsider the ‘unrealistic proposals’ to tighten restrictions on the online gaming sector, which are said to ‘play into the hands of the unlicensed market’.
Suggesting an alternative to the deposit limits proposed by the Ministry of Finance, the consortium of CEOs have outlined a number of countermeasures to help promote safer gambling environments and standards. The countermeasures include:
- Expanding licensing requirements to technology provisions,
- The promotion of self-exclusion register Spelpaus
- The integration of an IQ campaign
- Enhanced collection and sharing of player data, risk ratings
- Further extending Spelinspektionen’s oversight of marketplace requirements.
Meanwhile, Swedish igaming trade body BOS has published independent market analysis undertaken by Copenhagen Economics, which warns MPs that they risk a greater than 50% decline in online casino channelisation rates, should the government move forward with new enforcements.