Spelinspektionen Not Opposed to Restrictions on iSlots

Spelinspektionen - Sweden

Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen is not opposed to placing restrictions on online slot games but unsure as to what the impact would be.

Over the past few years, as COVID-19 has entered the global landscape, gambling regulators have begun to change restrictions and regulations to create a safer environment for players. In Sweden, changes are continually being made on a regular basis to ensure gambling harm is lessened. Just recently, regulator Spelinspektionen announced that it would not object to the government implementing temporary restrictions connected to online slot games. However, the regulator is unclear as to how such a change would affect the gambling industry.

Consultation for Lower Deposit Limits

Just a few weeks ago, the government of Sweden announced the start of a consultation where lower deposit limits for online casino players were to be considered. The switch is now being made, with players only able to deposit SEK4,000 ($443) a month starting in February.

New measures now being considered would place temporary restrictions on online slot games from February 7 to June 30. The goal is to lower gambling related harm and risk while the pandemic is still ongoing.

In the past, the argument for player protection has also been used to justify changes to online casino deposit caps. The most recent change in this manner took place from early July 2020 to mid-November 2021. In the beginning, the cap was supposed to be for the short term, but it continued to be extended as the pandemic lingered.

After the most recent consultation, Spelinspektionen said that it would not be against reintroducing temporary measures as the COVID-19 pandemic is sweeping across Sweden. However, it is too early to tell how such rules would impact players.

In the past, the regulator was critical of a deposit limit stating there was not enough evidence to support such a limit. The regulator’s position has now changed, and more data is required if this type of measure is to remain in place for a longer period.

Currently, the regulator is still working on evaluating the temporary measures that are in place. They plan on reporting the findings by March 15.

COVID-19 and New Restrictions

In several countries, new restrictions have popped up on a continual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic continues on. Early in the pandemic, regulators in Sweden as well as in the UK and other areas were worried that with the long lockdown periods, players would spend more time gambling. The longer a player spends wagering on sports or casino games, the more likely they could become addicted.

The worry was that with the lockdowns, people would become addicted because there would be nothing else to do for entertainment. As local pubs and restaurants closed down, people were stuck in their homes with nowhere to go and nothing to do.

Because of the fear connected to potential gambling harm, regulators in several countries decided to make changes to protect players. This included deposit limits and lower betting ranges, so players wouldn’t be able to spend their life savings in one sitting.

Regulators also asked that operators be more vigilant when it comes to checking in on players that might be exhibiting harmful behavior. This could be higher spending habits all of a sudden or longer time frames spent gambling. Some operators have failed to do this or offer welfare checks which lead to fines for violating regulations.

It will be interesting to see if the Swedish regulator enacts these new measures and if so, just how it affects the gambling industry as a whole. Will players be more protected in the long run?

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