By Iqbal Johal
Online casino Videoslots believes further restrictions in Sweden will hinder player protection and could drive players to the black market.
Last week, social security minister Ardalan Shekarabi proposed restrictions to limit online gambling during the coronavirus pandemic, including weekly gambling deposit limits of SEK 5,000 ($500), a SEK 100 cap on bonus offers and set time limits on online casino activity.
The proposals will be discussed on 7 May, in what Videoslots describes as an «addition to Europe’s strictest gambling restrictions.»
According to the online casino, if passed, the Swedish Government’s 90% channelisation aim – the total share of online gambling taking place on regulated sites – will be severely hit.
A Copenhagen Economics report found the Swedish online casino industry is already «exposed to fierce competition from unlicensed providers,» with 40% of players within the market having gambling on unlicensed casino sites.
Videoslots General Counsel, Ewout Wierda, said: «The changes proposed by the Government will take even more players away from the protection of the licensing system.
«Our player protection can help society cope with the current virus-related risks, but not if those players who need protection most choose black-market operators.
«Enforcement against black-market operators is needed but is not an alternative for the attractiveness of licensed operators.
«The Government has no evidence of the need for measures or their effect. Licensed operators on the other hand can show there is no new risk.
“Forced fixed limits have proven to be ineffective by academic experts and they are inconsistent with systems focusing on customers who are most at risk.»