The Swedish government is plotting a new deposit cap to affect casinos. The government launched consultations around the new reduced deposit limit set at SEK4,000 per month. This new deposit cap is set to go live this February.
Ardalan Shekarabi, the Social Security Minister in Sweden, said the government is already in consultation with stakeholders. This follows the deteriorating COVID-19 condition necessitating the protection of at-risk players.
The consultations for the implementation of the new regulations start from February 7 to June 30.
The Minister stated people who play for money deserve strong protection from the government. This with the backing that Sweden is a welfare state. This then forms the basis of the government’s decision to reintroduce further consumer protection regulations. The Minister also stated the potential of falling into problem gambling continues to rise due to the pandemic.
That is the same justification put forward by the government when it introduced the initial SEK5,000 iGaming deposit cap. Those regulations went live on July 2, 2020, and were later suspended on November 14, 2021.
The government initially intended to have these measures in place for a short period. But it continuously extended the measures. Shekarabi asked the country’s gambling watchdog to look into the possibility of having the deposit cap measures remain permanent.
Registration bonuses are set to remain limited to a maximum of SEK100 similar to the previous limits. Physical slot games will now have a loss limit set at SEK4,000. Gamblers will also have to set their monthly, weekly, and daily limits on their time spent on gambling platforms.
The ongoing consultations acknowledged that some gamblers found a way to beat the measures. They set an inflated spending limit, deposited funds, and later switched the cap to a lower amount to play their favorite games.
ATG and Kindred Group were at the end of injunctions back in 2020. This was after the gambling regulator found out this was a likelihood on their respective sites. Operators must now reach out to players not more than 96 hours after they set higher limits to ask them to consider cutting down this limit.
Debt and budget counselors revealed more people continue to suffer from financial harm due to gambling. Slots led the way as being the riskiest product at 45% compared to those betting online (13%).
The reintroduction of tighter controls is set to push players to unregulated sites. But the government said evidence showed channelization rates remained constant at 84% to 86%. This is despite the previous SEK5,000 limit.
But Sweden’s association for gambling trade criticized the impending move as it did with the initial cap. The gambling trade association stated the proposal would hinder instead of bolstering consumer protection efforts.