Swedish government scraps deposit cap plans

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Sweden’s government has scrapped plans to impose new restrictions - including a SEK4,000 slots deposit cap - for online casino products.

The Swedish government announced earlier this month plans to reintroduce a number of temporary measures for the gambling sector, including a deposit cap, after a previous SEK5,000 cap had been in place for much of 2020 and 2021.

The cap – alongside other measures such as a SEK100 limit on sign-up bonuses – was set to be made official today (27 January) and come into force on 7 February, but the government instead opted to abandon the plan.

Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary general of industry association BOS, which met with state secretary Alejandro Firpo earlier today, said the government made the right choice as the cap did not reduce gambling harm.

“It is a wise and well-balanced decision that the government has made,” Hoffstedt said. “Partly based on the general development of the pandemic. Partly, and above all, because precisely these restrictions would not achieve their purpose of protecting public health. 

“We are in favour of strong regulation of the gaming market, and a prerequisite for this is that the intention with various reforms can also be expected to have the intended effect. That was not the case with the covid restrictions, and it is therefore welcome that they are withdrawn.”

BOS had previously criticised the rules in a response to a consultation on the matter. In its own consultation response, regulator Spelinspektionen said it would not oppose the rules, while operator Kindred said the reintroduction of the cap was “ill-founded”.

Earlier today, the Swedish government announced a host of other rules for the gambling sector, including the introduction of a gaming software licence for gaming suppliers, as well as new advertising controls.