The Swedish government has said it will no longer pursue controversial plans for a fresh set of caps on player deposits after finding no evidence it would rescue problem gambling.
The proposals had included a SEK4,000 cap on deposits for online slots, marking a move to a more tightly restricted cap, rather than less, from the SEK5,000 cap that had already been in place as an emergency measure for much of the last two years of covid. This and other measures such as a SEK100 limit on sign-up bonuses were due to come into effect from 7 February but have now formally been abandoned.
Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary general of the local online gambling trade group BOS, welcomed the news saying the government had made the right decision on scrapping a proposal that would not reduce problem gambling and only encourage more illegal betting.
“It is a wise and well balanced decision that the government has made,” Hoffstedt said. “Partly based on the general development of the pandemic. Partly, and above all, because precisely these restrictions would not achieve their purpose of protecting public health.
“We are in favour of strong regulation of the gaming market, and a prerequisite for this is that the intention with various reforms can also be expected to have the intended effect. That was not the case with the covid restrictions, and it is therefore welcome that they are withdrawn.”
Also announced however, were the imminent implementation of various other restrictions to the market – such as requiring gaming software companies to apply for a licence to supply games, and new limits on advertising.