Swedish gambling operators propose new measures

Simona Boshkova | Published 9 Jun 2020, 1:05 p.m.

About two months ago, Sweden’s Social Security Minister Ardalan Shekarabi proposed a couple of regulations to limit the players’ exposure to gambling harm and non-compliant content. The proposed regulations include setting limits on online gambling time, deposits and losses. 

However, the General Secretary of the Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) online gambling industry group, Gustaf Hoffstedt, stated that gambling operators already had restrictive rules and that these new regulations could do more harm than good. The same response came from the Swedish operators that criticized the rules. In addition, Sweden’s Gaming Authority has also examined some of the new restrictions and expressed its concern about reducing players’ protection.

Now, Sweden’s online gambling operators came up with some new measures on how the government can protect the players. At the same time, Svenska Spel is asking the government to protect its lottery monopoly.

The operators proposed new measures to protect players

Yesterday, Sweden’s online gambling industry group BOS, offered the Swedish government new measures for a safer gambling market. The group is asking the government not to impose strict regulations on online casino deposit and spending limits that should be enforced in the first week of July. Nine CEOs from major Sweden gambling operators have come together and suggested new rules after a study suggested that the new regulations could cause half of the bets to be placed with unlicensed operators.

Lately, BOS conducted a study by Copenhagen Economics in order to discover what effect the proposed regulations will have on the players. The results showed that the online casino channelling rate will likely fall from 72-78% playing with local operators to a range of 52-63%. This would mean that almost half of all money wagered in Sweden will go to unlicensed operators.

The CEO of BOS Gustaf Hoffstedt believes that the Government’s suggestions will push the players away from the licenced gambling market. Therefore, BOS and the operators have collected new measures in a master document, all of which will contribute to improved safety in the Swedish gambling market. They are asking the government to withdraw their suggestions and adopt the new ones.

As part of the new measures, BOS has placed seven alternative steps the government should take to improve the channelling rate, monitor gambling activities and protect players. These include introducing a B2B system for the gaming technology suppliers and more funding for campaigns to raise awareness for responsible gambling tools. Furthermore, the proposed measures include collaboration between the government and licensees on analyzing customer data and using that data to establish a players’ risk classification system.

Svenska Spel asks for lottery betting protection

In the meantime, the CEO of Svenska Spel Patrik Hofbauer published a statement asking the Swedish government for a lottery betting ban. As he explained, the lottery betting sector posed a risk to the financial health of sports clubs and other nonprofit organizations in Sweden. Mr Hofbauer said that the lottery companies take market shares from the very part of the gaming market that the 2019 Gambling Act exists to preserve. If this continues, funding for sports associations and charities can be negatively affected.

The statement comes after the release of a new report from H2 Gambling Capital. The report showed that currently, lottery betting sites control about 40% of Europe’s online lottery market and that these operators’ revenues were growing between 10-20% per year, depriving both the state and the recipients of charitable foundations.

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