Last summer, the Swedish Government announced temporary measures aimed at player safety during the coronavirus pandemic. These were a weekly deposit limit of SEK 5,000 ($579.69) for online casino customers and a SEK 100 limit on bonus offers, lasting from 2 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. However, the government extended these until at least 14 November 2021 in line with COVID-19 related remaining in place in Sweden.
But at a press conference on 7 September, the government announced that all pandemic-related restrictions, such as capacity limits and social distancing measures, were to be lifted on 29 September.
As a result, trade body BOS has since argued that online casino rules should be lifted on the same date as the country starts to come out of lockdown.
In a letter to the government, BOS secretary general Gustaf Hoffstedt said: "The main argument from the government for the restrictions was a concern that increased time spent in the home during the pandemic would lead to increased gambling problems. That did not happen, it would turn out."
"Now that the Swedish Public Health Agency is also lifting the recommendation to work from home from 29 September, we believe that the government should lift the temporary restrictions for online casinos on the same date in the name of consistency."
He also pointed out that state-owned land-based casino Casino Cosmopol reopened on 7 July without the restrictions that apply to online casinos.
At the time the extension to the temporary measures was made in May, BOS mentioned that there was no evidence to support a rise in gambling problems related to the pandemic and that the longer the restrictions last for, the worse channelisation rates would be. It also said: "the more restrictions that are added in this situation in addition to those decided by theRiksdagin the Gaming Act, the worse the consumer protection will be," and players would be turned to the black market.
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