If the Swedish government decides to further extend the restrictions due to the covid-19 pandemic, the country’s online casino operators will be affected by the deposit limits and bonuses until june 30, 2021.
Sweden’s Finance Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday proposing an “extended period of validity” for temporary restrictions on deposits and bonuses at online casinos.
These limits that came into effect on july 2 and would originally be in force until the end of the year, now the swedish government wants to extend them until the end of spring.
The restrictions imposed set a limit for weekly deposits of SEK5k (US $ 580), while the bonus offers cannot exceed SEK100.
It also imposes a game time limit on online players, which is applied equally to land based gaming machines.
Much of the decline in operating company revenues is due to limits set by the government. Operators say these restrictions are leading players to prefer internationally licensed sites, mostly customers with gambling problems.
The Ministry of Finance opened a public consultation period until november 23. In this regard, Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), the online gambling trading group, said that the government is acting in the wrong way with this policy of extension of limitations.
Gustaf Hoffstedt, executive director of BOS, ironically said that nothing was “as permanent as a political promise of something temporary.” He added that initially the government’s justification for setting these limits was “an alleged increase” of online gambling during the lockdown for the coronavirus, “which did not turn out to be the case.”
Hoffstedt indicated that the restrictions were not imposed on horse racing betting, which together with the ban on major league sports, led to an increase in betting that favored ATG, the state horse racing betting operator.
Despite the fact that this situation was widely “known to all players” and to the regulator Spelinspektionen, the government did nothing to stop ATG’s gambling. Hoffstedt further said that limitations to online gambling were only pushing swedish players into international “wolves” without a local license. This is something that had already been observed since before the pandemic.