While the gaming industry worldwide is working towards resuming operations in a bid to try and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swedish government continues to hold its stringent regulatory standpoint despite being cautioned by gambling operators in the country.
Many attempts have been made by licensed operators in the Swedish market to try and push for the amendment of the recently proposed restrictions, but the government has remained adamant. Last week, Ardalan Shekarabi, the country’s Social Security Minister greenlit the plans to introduce temporary restrictions to Sweden’s online casino markets despite the fallout.
Gambling operators such as William Hill and Kindred Group and unions such as the European Betting and Gaming Association and Branschföreningen för Onlinespel had vehemently opposed the proposed regulations but to no avail. Betsson AB, one of the brands that opposed the restrictions, has already felt the pinch, having been fined 20M SEK ($2.2M) by the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA).
Regardless of all the warnings by the operators, suppliers, gaming associations, and affiliates to have the regulations amended, the government has stood firm on its take and plans to implement the regulations starting 2nd July. The regulations will see a SEK 5,000 ($540) weekly deposit limit, with operators only being allowed to offer bonuses of up to SEK 100.
According to the Swedish government, however, the new measures are designed to provide extra protection for players during the coronavirus pandemic and will be in effect until the end of 2020. Come June, all eyes will be on Sweden to see how channelization will fair after the new restrictions become official.