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Open Letter of Swedish iGaming Operators urges Finance Minister Shekarabi to Rethink Online Casino Restrictions

Tags: Ardalan Shekarabi, Gambling License, Sverige, Sweden.
Posted on 10 June 2020 by "T".

Members of Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), the Swedish Trade 
Association for Online Gambling, have sent an open letter to the country's Minister of Finance Ardalan Shekarabi, urging the easing of new temporary restrictions imposed on the gambling market.

The temporary online casino restrictions, which were implemented starting June 1st, stating that players will be subjected to deposit limits and gaming operators will have less room for maneuver when it comes to offering online bonuses.

What the Open Letter Says
The letter by BOS says:
"We operate in a digital world and have direct access to all relevant data needed to evaluate what measures can help strengthen the security of our players while offering attractive products. 

The sad thing is that the government, with Ardalan Shekarabi at the forefront, does not want to talk to stakeholders like us, about how we can work together and, with the support of the insight we possess, develop a well-functioning Swedish gaming market."  

The trading association was also uncertain about speculations that problem gambling will be more rampant during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online activity has actually recently dropped, according to the association.

It also noted the recent findings from the independent research firm Copenhagen Economics. The report published last May says channelization rates are still dropping. Sports betting channelization stands at 80% to 85%, while online casino is lower at 72% to 78%.

More and more players are choosing to play at companies operating on the black market. This can be seen as a proverbial face slap for the government, as it completely failed to defend its own licensing system. The biggest drop in player presence was in the online casinos - approximately every fourth Krona gambled goes to an unlicensed company instead of a company with a Swedish license.

Of course, Minister Shekarabi is fully aware of this, but for some inexplicable reason he doesn't appear to be worried at all on the fact that more and more players are turning to the uncontrolled black market to bet on sports or play slots and other online casino games.

Referring to this, the letter said the following:

"The purpose of the re-regulation, which had broad support in Parliament, was to create a more sustainable and long-term gaming market. Now the minister is about to create a ‘wild west 2.0' in the gaming market, and this is done in the name of consumer protection. For us, it is clear that Ardalan Shekarabi does not share our ambition to create a sustainable and safe gaming market as the latest proposal is the best advertisement for players to leave the licensed companies in favor of the black market."

Furthermore, BOS warned that companies could potentially leave the market if stricter regulations are being added and imposed on them every time.

"Companies, regardless of industry, want to be where the customers are; if the customers leave, the companies will follow suit.

The Swedish gaming market not only offers players security, it annually contributes billions in much needed tax revenue and investment in sports.  

Month by month, the Swedish gaming market erodes and the risk that security, tax revenue and investment in society will be reduced grows. We wonder why Ardalan Shekarabi wants to undermine his own gambling regulation?"  

New Restrictions
As part of the government's new measures which began on June 1st, players residing in Sweden will be subjected to:

  • Mandatory limits on casino playing time
  • Weekly deposit limits of 5,000 Swedish Krona
  • Online bonus limits of 100 Swedish Krona

These new rules will be in effect until at least the end of the year. Its main purpose was to mitigate potential problem gambling, which was thought to arise because of the coronavirus situation.

Signatures from iGaming operators
The open letter was signed by CEOs from twelve online gambling companies having around 50% share of the Swedish online gambling market between them including Betsson, Kindred Group, LeoVegas, NetEnt, ComeOn, Videoslots, Hero Gaming, SuprNation, William Hill, and the BOS secretary general.

Operators emphasized that they were not consulted prior to these changes. They also pointed out that they are duly cooperating with authorities to help address unregulated gambling.

BOS proposes Safe Gambling Measures
BOS has also proposed seven alternative steps that the government can take to improve the channeling rate in Sweden. These would enable the state to better monitor the gambling activities within the border and to protect the locals better from gambling risks.

The seven proposed steps by BOS and the operators are:

  • Expand the licensing requirements
  • IQ campaign for the gambling industry
  • The data of the gambling companies should be part of the solution
  • Being able to share data between companies
  • Extending the Swedish Gambling Authority's mandate, and
  • Extending the duty of care to more industries

As for campaigns to raise awareness for responsible gambling, they suggested that they should have additional funding for it. Players are always free to check online casino review sites to learn which are safe and trustworthy.

BOS also wants licensed operators and the government to analyze customer data, and use it to establish a risk classification system on players instead of gambling products.

They said, "The digital gambling industry collects and processes large amounts of data on customers' gambling behaviour. The Ministry of Finance should instruct the Swedish Gambling Authority to request regular reports, with anonymized data, on customers' gambling behavior to increase understanding about gambling habits and identify any systematic problems. The gambling companies have this data and already share it with researchers.

Great strides have been made in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Computers are capable of handling huge amounts of data and identifying the patterns required for increasing understanding and providing the basis for decisions. The gambling industry is also making progress in this area and sees great opportunities for improving our ability to detect and stop harmful phenomena such as problem gambling, match-fixing, and money laundering. The Ministry of Finance has a golden opportunity to initiate a strategic collaboration in this area together with authorities, researchers, the gambling industry, and gambling addiction groups."



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29 comments on "Open Letter of Swedish iGaming Operators urges Finance Minister Shekarabi to Rethink Online Casino Restrictions"

Displaying only the 25 latest comments. To view all comments, please visit the forum thread:
» Open Letter of Swedish iGaming Operators urges Finance Minister Shekarabi to Rethink Online Casino Restrictions

 dule-vu11/06/2020 14:14:02 GMT
and two of you talking about thing that not even in this news and has nothing with problem with corona or did they stay at home or not!its about new rules about gambling and what people could do or not in future!ofcourse we can see what member start to write stupid things every time in almost every thread,just to collect points!
they want to make new regulation in online gambling,not who will stay at home!
 antonis32111/06/2020 16:14:03 GMT
Swedish government wants to protect its people from undesirable uncontrolled betting behavior and many losses . That's why t has proposed all these new measures , to secure the gambling market . But on the other hand , it should have consulted the online gambling operators and businesses , before reaching the final decisions on the measures they would take . They know more efficient ways to protect their customers , so as them to bet safely and within limits Smile
 roeish311/06/2020 18:57:41 GMT
I just answered Calicul on his point. Prior to that I wrote I thought that this move is the right one, but I'm not sure it will help, because it involves politics and money, so logic itself could be not enough in the end of the day.
I do hope all nations will find a way to let online poker be legal, with restriction to help avoid bad behaviour and addiction and to see that the crime sindicates are left out of this.
 CALICUL11/06/2020 20:46:57 GMT
He doesn't know what he's talking about, but he opens his mouth in vain. He is the most desperate member to collect points but in Sweden it has been possible to play at casinos for a long time. After that i don't know what happened because i didn't watch in continuation.
 dule-vu12/06/2020 14:07:45 GMT
there is no need to answer to person that dont know what a hell he talking about,dont know what to wrtie except thing about corona,even in this big news there is only a one word about this virus (only to say about that period),not a single problem in sweden about this,but he just spaming in every thread about it,just to collect 50 points per day,even he dont play casino games,now he stopped to play poker,even he play almost only freerolls and tournaments with max 1 $ buy in and there is no point from his posts at all!
how can anybody write about things in sweden and their casinos,where only thing in this text is about how players from this country will gamble online and how they will make deposits and how strict they will be!so where the hell he find words that nobody else see and that he write did they had open casinos or not!
roeish3 just ingore his posts and dont answer to him,when admin dont want to give him again ban and to stop him from doing bad things for this forum!you can see how funny he is,when he write how he earn from poker 1 K dollars per year and after few days he write how he will stop playing poker!he just dont know anything and he even forget what he write in some thread,then after few days he write opposite thing in same thread!
 antonis32112/06/2020 17:01:03 GMT
These temporary onl;ine restrictions for gambling , aare a little late or is it my imagination ??? lol . Corona virus crisis is going for the better , things are being improved , cases are less , isolation is less , things return step by step to normality , people return gradually to their jobs . So now less play poker or casinos online , than 1 month or more ago . Now it's not the time for these restrictions on gambling by the swedish government Smile
 CALICUL12/06/2020 21:39:08 GMT
Playing online was the best in this world and if Sweden did not want to do something good for certain gambling operators... it is their decision and cannot be changed, if they do not want to change something. In each country the laws are a little different.
 roeish313/06/2020 06:46:50 GMT
I try not to take anything here personally. When I see something that looks ignorant I reply so it doesn't just stand there.
I don't care about why people post here or what they might say about me. Like all the rest of the people here, I say what I think about the bees articles.
No worries, just keep on posting what is on your mind
 dule-vu13/06/2020 19:08:48 GMT
roeish3 its point to talk about subject in news,right?its not point to spam from third post of thread and to talk about something that its not even mentioned in this big text!ofcourse third post isnt yours,we know who write it!on what would look this forum if we would write in every thread about what we want and not why is subject open?
about subject,hope somebody will change this law about online gambling and that people will have freedom to do with money whatever they want and not to have only 500 e limit per week and this small bonus for deposit!
 antonis32113/06/2020 19:28:53 GMT
betting companies know which of their customers tend more to play recklessly , without limits , on tilt , with gambling problems . Thye can analyse their players' data , and find the ones with these kinds of problems , and impose to them some restrictions for their own good . Swedish government should take this into consideration before deciding measures on its own , in order to protect the betting companies' customers .
 roeish313/06/2020 20:39:19 GMT
You are right, of course, but I don't see it as harsh as you. He needs to write, we don't have to read, and life is too short to take this seriously.
We are all here to have fun, so I will try to take things lightly as much as I can, as long as it don't get to personal.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend 😊
 CALICUL13/06/2020 21:35:15 GMT
Roeish3, you don't have to talk with him because he is the frustrated number 1 in BRM. He did not know what was in Sweden but he wants to contradict without a real reason. Operators and industry associations condemn the new rule and their anger is right.
 Mober14/06/2020 11:45:09 GMT
Most of the times, the measures taken from each government is a big fail.
The excuse is to protect their citizens, while actually another scheme is running
on the back ground.
I wonder if some of the ones that are deciding for the measure have ever gambled
before. For example i read here there will be a time limit where you can play.
Lets say you are playing poker, doing a bad start, and when you finally start getting
good results and payouts... your time is up... ?
 dule-vu14/06/2020 19:21:41 GMT
Posted by roeish3:
You are right, of course, but I don't see it as harsh as you. He needs to write, we don't have to read, and life is too short to take this seriously.
We are all here to have fun, so I will try to take things lightly as much as I can, as long as it don't get to personal.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend 😊

no he dont need to write,he can write,thats big difference!I will repeat again,he dont know what he talking about as always,he write just to collect points,he dont read news and its not normal what he do!one of rules at this forum is that you cant spam and that you cant write in some thread something that its not about subject!so when his first post in this thread is about corona (he only write about corona for last three months in almost every thread) and there are nothing about corona in this news,ofcourse I will say that he is very stupid and that he just write because of 10 points!
only point in this thread is to see that residents of sweden will have new rules about online gambling,their deposits and bonuses!so this has nothing with corona situation in sweden,did they closed schools,casinos,restaurants or anything else and how many dead people they had!do you get me now?
its only about new restrictions with online things and how players from this country will gamble!
 antonis32114/06/2020 23:53:42 GMT
I read on another forum about some other restrictions the Swedish goverment had imposed on the poker industry , why make things worse for some businesses , ofcourse to protect the interests of your local casinos , absolutely rational . These last years too many countries impose restrictions , and regulation obstacles to poker operators and casinos online , now this is not sth new . I wonder , I don't know if the Swedish government is the same concerned for players playing live on casinos in the past , lol . Wo can play and who not , what games are allowed (somefreerolls were not able to be played there in the past , lol ) , a mess . So , on the bottom line , these measures are not so much to protect players, but to make their gablng habits online harder and more problematic .
 CALICUL15/06/2020 08:52:24 GMT
Politicians are the ones who think the laws and because of that there are restrictions all over the world. They proceed according to their interest. In my country there are only 4 poker rooms and only a few casinos or sports betting houses. These barriers need to be rethought.
 antonis32117/06/2020 14:12:52 GMT
It;s really funny . Whenever politicians take some measures , vote for some new laws or rules , to restrict players' freedom , to predetermine their betting behavior , choices , spendings (which means also their overall winnings on the long run) , or when they decide new criteria for whom will be able to operate on their country and whom not , they always say this is for the best of their citizens , tpo protect them from reckless behavior , scammers or not safe businesses . Not that they want to protect the interests of their rich fellow countrymen buddies , who pay them a lot to do so , lol .

The do not pretect them overally with these measures , better advice poker rooms or casinos to put some limits on the great losers in their platforms or lobbies , maximum daily or monthly losses to protect them , only for the great losers without big bankroll or fortune . All others need no pretection , definetely not from the state/government , lol .

If they want to help players , the minimise the tax on their winnings , invite a lot more businesses from other countries to operate in their region , do not put obstacles , so as for the market and the economy to work more efficiently for the benefit of players and businesses Smile Care for some basic riules in the market YES , but total controf of the rules and the buyers' decisions definetley NO
 CALICUL17/06/2020 16:34:57 GMT
In Romania, politicians want to sign a law not to demand taxes for those who have slot machines. I don't know where it will end up, because this news is that the Government will no longer tax the income obtained from slot gambling for moment.
 dule-vu18/06/2020 11:39:22 GMT
in this case big problem is that they want to make rules how much money you will spend on gambling on some site and dont understand why they care what people will do with their money and how much they will spend on it!its not about tax or something that they will earn as goverment,they care what kind of bonuses players will get?!very stupid!
 antonis32118/06/2020 16:56:46 GMT
Players can restrict themselves from gambling if they have many losses or if they have lost conrtol , the can exclude themselves for some time , maybe months , self banned , many rooms offer this feature , or they can ask the support to help them with this matter . Also , casinos and poker rooms can identify the ones needed help , so eveyone else can play the way he wants and the money he wants , without any restricttion .

These swedish government's decisions are exaggerations , they could have asked casions or poker rooms to set a plan , but no very restrictive , not for all players , only for the ones who really need it , who have uncontrollable hug losses . Everyone else should not have llimitted freedom in gambling or choosing how to spend THEIR money Smile
 CALICUL18/06/2020 17:02:36 GMT
Politicians do not care about these things because they always win by legal or illegal methods. They don't think about people and in many cases don't even think about casinos. Their main purpose is always for their benefit...
 dule-vu19/06/2020 11:20:48 GMT
its same problem in UK when you want to play slots in shops and casinos,they dont allow you to have bets bigger then 2 pounds,which is crazy!same thing they want to put on online casino site for players from UK!they already have restrictions with slots when you have buy in option on them,you cant do it,they dont allow people to spend in one second 500 e to buy bonus!
who know what is new restriction in online gambling in europe!
 Mober21/06/2020 10:13:44 GMT
Not all restrictions in such games are bad.
There are too many degenerates out there, that these measures will prevent them from
losing their money in a flash.
It is an addiction one way or another and many have ruined by this.
So at some point reviewing the rules in order to prevent such phenomena is not a bad thing.
 roeish321/06/2020 10:21:24 GMT
I agree. I heard of too many people that this game messed their lives up. It doesn't only affect them - Here we had a guy murdering his parents to repay poker debts. This had turned public opinion against poker that takes years to overcome.
One of the problems with online betting is that it is always available and if you are a real addict, sooner or later it could destroy your life.
 dule-vu21/06/2020 12:52:26 GMT
but all of you are not get points from this news and its not only about how much money players will deposit on site!its about bonuses that they cant get anymore,time of playing that they will spend and much more!its just not same and maybe this problem with deposit limit will be on only one site,maybe you will be able to make deposit on other site and on next one and so on!

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