While other Nations are currently on lockdown and practising social distancing, Sweden is currently not on lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, however, the absence of sports betting has aggregated to a surge in online casino gambling sites like for example those that are listed at Swedish casino guide Casinopro.se.
In the wake of this development, according to the Swedish media, the Swedish government is set to introduce temporary laws to regulate online gambling in the country until the end of 2020.
In the Scandinavian nation, It has also been revealed that operators are cutting their spending in online advertising.
New Regulating Policies till the rest of 2020
Speaking at a press conference in Stockholm on Thursday morning, Sweden’s Social Security Minister, Ardalan Shekarabi, said that, in the eyes of the state, the increase in online casino activity means putting potential customers at significantly higher risk than usual.
As reported by Swedish outlet Breakit, The rules for the remainder of this year, are as follows;
- Players would be required to set a daily restriction on their online casino playing time.
- The maximum weekly investment quota would be 5,000 Swedish Krona (approximately 400USD).
- Online bonus offers will not exceed SEK 100 (approximately £ 8).
The limitations will, however, apply to video lottery terminals. Recreational interactions will also be limited because of the coronavirus pandemic. This means that some land-based gaming facilities will remain open.
Gustaf Hoffstedt who spoke to iGB said that these measures were likely to lead more players to move to the unlicensed market. He is the Secretary-General of the Swedish online gambling trade association known as Branschföreningen för Onlinespel.
“I am distraught that this would increase patronage of unlicensed pages, because there is already a huge percentage of around 25% leakage when it comes to online gaming, and with these policy steps it can only get worse.”
The proposal will be subject to a referral process, which will end on 7 May and allow stakeholders to provide input before it comes into effect.
However, Hoffstedt maintained that the consultation period is supposed to be very brief and that improvements to the legislation are likely to be impossible during such a period.
A call to take swift action
Social problems could arise easier than usual due to the uncertainty that the coronavirus is causing, according to Shekarabi.
Shekarabi went on to add,
“We are experiencing a pattern right now of a growing likelihood of unemployment, maternity days, financial instability, and a reduction in pay rates. A combination of situations produces big threats in the area of play. The government will move urgently to defend Swedish customers. Nobody’s going untouched right now. This also refers, of course, to players in the Swedish game industry.”
Industry leaders voiced their worry earlier this month regarding the imposture prospect of additional regulations and policies in Sweden. They cautioned that the black market of the country might also open up in the wake.
A significant position was given to Spelinspektionen
Additional responsibilities to promote player safety have been delegated to Spelinspektionen, the country’s gaming watchdog.
The regulatory body has been advised to hold a closer watch on the competition and increase the public understanding of the value of cyber protection.
That involves putting restrictions on gambling. It was also advised to watch out for operators selling their services in Sweden without a license to do so.
Advertising Budget of Swedish operators reduced
Regarding gambling, Cherry AB, one of the significant Swedish players, reduced its production by 59 percent relative to March 2019. The net budget was SEK 5.21 million.
In an article that was published on resume.se, it was disclosed how many major corporations in Sweden invested in advertisements in March.
Svenska Spel, another major stakeholder, also significantly reduced its annual spending, bringing SEK 42.3 million into its marketing campaign. This was half of last year’s amount in the same month.