Following the strict gambling regulations proposed by the Social Security Minister Ardalan Shekarabi, in regards to the protection of citizens, several gambling operators in Sweden have threatened to exit the market as they find the proposed conditions too harsh for their companies’ survival.
The Social Security Minister proposed a range of measures that could be used to protect the Swedish players which included a weekly gambling deposit limit of SEK 5,000 ($500), a SEK 100 ($10) cap on bonus offers and a compulsory time limit for the time players take while gambling online. According to locally licensed operators in Sweden, these new restrictions will end up forcing players to switch to the international offshore operators and black-market sites.
In response to the newly proposed regulations, CEOs from leading gambling companies such as LeoVegas, Betsson, Kindred Group and NetEnt have said that should players abandon the Swedish market even temporarily, their companies would have no choice but to leave the market.
The response from the companies was presented in form of a letter from BOS (Branschföreningen för Onlinespel), the Swedish association for the online gambling industry, to the minister suggesting a way out of the situation. They suggested that instead of the Swedish players being pushed to international gambling operators or even the black market, the government should do more to ensure that players are channeled to the locally regulated gaming sites. That way, the government would have a better chance to protect its residents.
A recent report showed that despite Sweden having one of the highest channeling rates with 87% of the players preferring to gamble within the regulated markets, the current online casino rate has drastically gone down to 72%. Given the proposed restrictions, the rate could go much lower.