Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) – Sweden’s online gambling trade association has urged the government to end its d restrictions for online casinos from 29 September, and not on 14 November as has been announced.
The trade body cited that almost all general restrictions related to the pandemic will be lifted from September 29 across Swedish business – therefore regulations concerning the gambling industry should be mirrored with restrictions being lifted.
Since July 2020, Sweden’s licensed online gambling operators have observed a mandatory SEK 5,000 (€460) weekly deposit cap limit applied to online casino and slot games.
BOS stated: “The main argument from the government for the restrictions was a concern that increased time spent in the home during the pandemic would lead to increased gambling problems. That did not happen, it would turn out.
“Now that the Swedish Public Health Agency is also lifting the recommendation to work from home from 29 September, we believe that the government should lift the temporary restrictions for online casinos on the same date in the name of consistency.”
Further pandemic restrictions have seen operators limit playing times and bonus incentives on online casinos and VLTs.
Adding to frustrations, Sweden’s government has extended its online gambling restrictions several times – with the most recent extension applied on 20 May this year. It was then decided that the regulation would be extended until 14 November this year.
BOS request comes as indications are that Sweden has overcome the most difficult phase of the pandemic, and is looking to emerge from lockdown and to return to normal life and business operations.
Against this background, BOS has requested the government to include a termination of the temporary regulation on gambling measures, together with the termination of the general pandemic restrictions. Thus, the temporary regulation on gambling liability measures would end on 29 September this year, and not on 14 November.