BOS welcomes ‘wise and well balanced’ restrictions withdrawal

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BOS, the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling, has welcomed a decision to waive a reintroduction of COVID restrictions for online casinos, after previously urging caution and calling for a rethink on the matter earlier this month.

This comes after Sweden’s ministry of finance submitted a memorandum calling for a potential reintroduction, which it proposed would enter into force on February 7, 2022, and last until the end of June. 

It was added at the time that they only be introduced “if it is deemed necessary in view of the current situation”.

The proposal contained provisions that the deposit limit for games at online casinos may not exceed SEK 4,000, and that the corresponding loss limit applies to games at ATMs.

It would also be mandatory for players to set limits on playing time when playing at online casinos and ATMs, with bonuses offered by licensees also only able to amount to a maximum of SEK 100.

However, the potential reintroduction did gain the backing of the Spelinspektionen, which said that it held “no objections” on the reintroduction of temporary gaming liability measures in Sweden in light of an increased spread of COVID-19.

The Swedish Gaming Authority noted that due to the “rapid spread” being witnessed, which saw the country introduce stricter infection control measures earlier this month, the circumstances which brought an initial introduction “is now again considered to exist”.

“It is a wise and well-balanced decision that the government has made. 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,” commented Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary general of BOS.

“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 That was not the case with the COVID restrictions, and it is therefore welcome that they are withdrawn.”