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Sweden – Sweden’s online gambling association warns against new restrictions

By - 30 April 2020

Swedish online gambling trade association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) has called for the government to withdraw proposals for more restrictions on existing online operators including new limitations on advertising.

The call follows a study commissioned by BOS and conducted by the Copenhagen Economics consultancy that highlighted a general declining development on the competitive side of the gambling market (81 to 85 per cent channelisation). It also reports very low channelisation numbers for the gambling verticals sports betting (80 to 85 per cent) and online casino (72 to 78 per cent).

Sweden’s Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi, had warned ‘extraordinary measures’ could be adopted if operators didn’t introduce new measures to protect online players during the coronavirus pandemic, a time when online gaming is a more tempting option.

The prospect of the ban has been greeted with dismay by industry stakeholders.

The Governmental channelisation goal for a sustainable gambling regulation is 90 per cent. This is the first report which shows channelisation for individual gambling verticals, like sports betting and online casino, in the Swedish market.

Gustaf Hoffstedt, Secretary-general of BOS, said: “There is no doubt that the licensing system is under heavy pressure when it comes to the gambling verticals sports betting and online casino. It is irresponsible to even consider further restrictions towards the locally licensed operators in those verticals, since we know that such restrictions push the punters away from the licensed market to the unregulated illegal market with its non-existent customer protection,”

“The future for the Swedish licensing system is now determined by the authorities and the Government’s ability to abstain from further restrictions towards locally licensed operators,” Mr. Hoffstedt added. “First of all, Minister Ardalan Shekarabi must withdraw his proposed additional restrictions from last week towards licensed operators. Secondly the Gambling Market Inquiry headed by Anna-Lena Sörenson must abstain any suggestions on additional prohibitions regarding marketing for licensed operators. And thirdly the Swedish Gambling Authority must withdraw its suggested additional restrictions for sports betting towards licensed operators, like prohibitions on betting on friendly matches and lower divisions in football.”

Caption: Gustaf Hoffstedt

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