The Swedish government has started negotiations on a new lower deposit limit for online casinos of SEK 4,000 (£ 325.6 / € 389.2 / US $ 439.2) per month, effective from February.
State Social Security Minister Ardalan Shekarabi announced today (January 4) that consultations to protect vulnerable players have begun due to the situation exacerbated by Covid19.
This player protection claim also justified the previous online casino deposit limit of SEK 5,000, enforced between July 2, 2020, and November 14, 2021.
When he announced that the deposit limit would be shut down,
Shekarabi asked local regulator Spelinspektionen to assess the need for a permanent cap on casino deposits.
That new move occurs as Sweden tightens control over Covid19 due to the spread of a strain of the Omicron virus. The measure, introduced on December 23, requires Swedish citizens to work from home, use vaccine passports for private events of more than 500 participants, and to avoid gatherings in groups of more than eight people.
The domestic gambling industry association Branscheforenigen for Onlinespel (BOS), which has been criticizing the restriction since the first discussion, once again argued that the proposal was a stumbling block rather than a contribution to player protection efforts.
Secretary-General Gustav Hoffstedt explained that because the limit can only be applied to a single operator account, those who want to spend more than SEK 4,000 only need to register to play with other providers.
Spelinspektionen previously stated that it was impossible to impose restrictions on all operators.
Hoffstedt said that players had accounts with one or two licenses before the cap. However, since its introduction, the number of accounts for each player has increased dramatically.
As games split across brands and accounts, it became more difficult for operators to get an overall picture of player habits. “If gambling becomes fragmented like a deposit limit, no game company can record risky gambling practices, so the cornerstone of Swedish consumer protection in gaming laws is lost,” he added.
Hoffstedt, therefore, urged governments to reconsider and provide consumer protection.