BOS slams “counterproductive” slot deposit cap

| By Marese O'Hagan
Swedish online gambling association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) has attacked the proposal to implement further pandemic-related restrictions for slots as damaging to the market and players.

The measures, which are subject to a consultation period that concludes today (17 January), include a deposit limit of SEK4,000 per week.

The deposit cap would then be implemented, along with other proposed restrictions, from February until June. Other proposed temporary restrictions include players setting a time limit on online gaming.

Sweden first implemented a controversial deposit cap of SEK5,000 in June 2020. This was extended to May 2021 and then to November 2021.

In response to the consultation, BOS, which already attacked the new measures when they were first announced, said the measures were “counterproductive” and could have a negative impact on the market.

“We have requested evidence of the government’s findings of alarming increases in online casino play, as we have not seen such a development in our own books,” said Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary general of BOS.

“We have also pointed out that the restrictions are counterproductive. They have an impact on the gaming market and consumers that is negative for consumer protection and public health.”

BOS believes that the restrictions could be damaging to customer protection efforts by encouraging players to play under different licensees or seek offshore gambling operators.

“The restrictions create incentives for the high-volume consumer to, instead of playing with a single gaming company, instead play with many companies, in order to thus override the deposit limit,” said Hoffstedt. This, he argued, meant that consumer protection efforts were undermined.

“It also creates additional incentives for consumers to move away from the regulated market.”

The Ministry stated that the proposals are to ensure player protection as the pandemic continues.

Earlier today Sweden’s gambling regulator Spelinspektionen said that it would not object to the proposed measures. However, it emphasised that the effects of the restrictions, whether they help or hinder player protection efforts, are uncertain.

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