Swedish casinos subject to curfew under new COVID ordinance

By Owain Flanders

Land-based casino and gaming venues in Sweden are now subject to greater restrictions after the government introduced a new COVID-19 ordinance from 20 November.

The Swedish government has introduced a temporary ban on the serving of alcohol between 10pm and 11am in an effort to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The curfew will be in effect from 20 November until the end of February 2021.

According to a statement on the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) website, the ordnance dictates that commercial casino games with a serving license cannot provide gaming services after the curfew.

The SGA said: “If the venue has a serving permit, games may only be provided during the time the serving permit is valid.

“This is stated in Section 3 of the Lottery Inspectorate’s regulations and general guidelines on land-based commercial gaming.”

The regulatory body said it has no ordinance to provide exemptions to the new curfew.

Recently, online casino operators have criticised the SGA and Swedish government’s proposal that strict online casino restrictions could be extended until next year.

Speaking with Gambling Insider last week, LeoVegas chief marketing officer Dersim Sylwan, said he believes the limits have been detrimental to the market’s channelisation efforts.

He said: “The effect and results from the recent measures and limitations has been an even lower channelisation within casino.

“One key issue is that problem gamblers who in Sweden have suspended themselves from playing via the central self exclusion system have been able to continue playing with the unlicensed gaming companies, where there is no consumer protection.”


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