BOS claims black market will “rejoice” at proposed deposit cap extension

| By Marese O'Hagan
Sweden’s online operator association Branschföreningen för Onlinespe (BOS) has again hit out at the Swedish government’s proposal to extend the country’s restrictions on online gambling including a SEK5,000 (£428/€476/$540) weekly deposit cap to November 14 2021.

The proposed extension was announced last month due to the rate of Covid-19 in Sweden.

BOS chair Gustaf Hoffstedt cited difficulties in consumer protection between the regulated and unregulated sectors and the potential rise in users playing unlicensed games as the body’s reasons for rejection.

Gustaf Hoffstedt

“The restrictions raise the thresholds for licensed gaming, and in other words, lower the threshold for Swedish consumers choosing [unlicensed games].” Hoffstedt (pictured) said.

“It is only the black market that has reason to rejoice at the government’s proposal for continued restrictions for Swedish-licensed gambling companies.”

The restriction, which applies only to online casino games, came into effect in July 2020, and was set to last until the end of the year. It was later extended until June 2021.

Hoffstedt had concerns about the unlicensed gaming market since the weekly deposit cap was introduced last year, telling iGB: “I am very concerned over the fact that this will accelerate the leakage from the Swedish licensing system to unlicensed sites.”

“We already have a problematic level of approximately 25% leakage when it comes to online casino, and with these governmental measures it will only get worse.”

The consultation period closed on May 3.

Last month regulator Spelinspektionen called for clarification on the deposit cap in its own consultation response, after the Administrative Court in Linköping overturned sanctions against Kindred regarding a loophole with the cap.

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