BOS Lambasts Swedish Gaming Market Proposals

After the national government disclosed that it could prolong the existing limitations on the gaming industry until June 30, 2021, BOS, the Swedish Trade Organisation for Online Gambling, has lambasted proposals in the Swedish market.

The company has branded the extension plans as illogical after releasing a lengthy statement about the current state of the market and after remarks on a “troubling” development earlier in the month.

Sweden’s national legislature has reviewed a raft of proposals from the Ministry of Finance, which will see existing weekly deposit limits of SEK 5,000 and limited SEK 100 bonus deals on online casinos extended until next year’s aforementioned date.

The MoF reiterated its Spring concerns that during the pandemic, customer involvement with online casinos and problem gambling will increase, a declaration that the group says has yet to be confirmed by evidence.

In a statement Gustaf Hoffstedt, BOS secretary general said: “The government’s mission should be to protect consumers and that should be their priority. On the contrary, the effects have been that they have shifted vulnerable players to the unlicensed companies. Sweden has failed to protect the vulnerable players and the extended regulations will not protect them.”

In its reply, the trade association pointed to a lack of scientific evidence to support the proposed reforms, raising fears that the impacts of black market holders who knowingly target national customers in times of insecurity could be intensified by them.

“A deposit limit of 5,000 SEK per week does not solve the need to help people who have a gambling problem as it is always possible to gamble at different companies. Alternatively, you can play at the unlicensed companies. The effects will instead be that the individual gaming companies cannot follow the individual players’ behaviour and, if necessary, support it,” Hoffstedt stated.

The company discussed an “extremely worrying development in Sweden,” elaborating on this where it claims seven out of 10 of those who seek treatment for gambling issues and have banned themselves from playing breaks are still playing.

It stresses that those licenced in the country are now facing a fight against the black market, in which it claims that the existing regulatory protections have failed to protect the market.

In 2019, the Swedish market re-regulated the security of igaming customers, with Swedish licensees contributing “SEK 3.6 billion to the Treasury.” An sum that is now declining steadily in line with the change to unlicensed businesses.

In addition, the trade association also highlighted that “no unlicensed company has been fined or prosecuted since January 1, 2019 at the same time 26 fines have been issued for a total of SEK 236m against the licenced gaming market.”