Videoslots general counsel: New Sweden measures have come “too late” to deal with pandemic

By Iqbal Johal

The new measures in Sweden in response to the coronavirus pandemic, have come too late and mandatory player-set loss limits were instead required, according Videoslots’ general counsel.

The new restrictions came into effect on 2 July until the end of the year, which include a SEK 5,000 ($537) weekly deposit limit for online casino and slots, aimed at protecting players during the lockdown.

Time limits on online casino and slots play was also introduced, while horse racing and sports betting are exempt from the new measures, after being included initially.

However, Ewout Wierda, general counsel at online casino Videoslots, which has a license in Sweden, believes the measures have come too late, as lockdown measures are eased around Europe.

Wierda told Gambling Insider: “For regulators, it is already too late to deal with the pandemic by changing or introducing new regulations.

“What would help players however is if mandatory, player-set loss limits were required instead of one-size-fits-all deposit restrictions.

“Loss is the easiest measure to understand, and deposit limits are simply not realistic with pay-and-play and instant withdrawals becoming the norm.”

The Videoslots general counsel also questioned the government’s motives behind the measures.

Wierda added: “First of all, the Swedish government has not been able to show that there has been a significant increase in activity and a problematic shift towards higher risk gambling.

“Considering the skill element and the time that punters spend on their bets, you could argue that sports betting is about as risky as online casino. The Swedish government’s focus on online casino is therefore hard to understand but you have to remember the fact that horse racing is still a state-controlled monopoly.”

 

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