Bonus limitations to consider when playing casino without a license

Bonus limitations to consider when playing casino without a license

Swedish government approves temporary online casino limits

At the end of April 2020, the Swedish association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), sent an open letter to protest against the new government package of measures. What was the reason for this? Why has the term casinos without swedish license become a new hype among Swedish gamblers? Let's take a look.

Historical reference

Sweden has been at war with gambling long enough. Why? Maybe, we should look for the answer in government studies. In 2008-2010, the Swedish authorities conducted a long-term study by Swelog, which revealed that 2% of the population were problem players. 

For comparison, according to the study of problem gambling in Europe, in 2010, the ratio of problem gamblers to the population ranged from 0.5% to 2.5% in European countries (except only 3 nations, Estonia, Finland, and Hungary). Since then, little has changed. The proportion of 2019-20 still ranges from 0.5 to 3% in Europe. The same Swelog conducted from 2011 to 2018 shows the number of problem players in Sweden was 0.6% in 2018. A decrease from 2 to 0.6% is a success!

However, the Swedish government continues stepping on the gas. A new law came into force on January 1, 2019, according to which:

  • Gambling platforms with a license must connect to Spelpaus, set links to it and gamblers' self-test 
  • Clients receive only one welcome bonus
  • The slots must have a 3-second pause after each spin

Almost immediately after the law's introduction, a boom of casinos without swedish license was registered. That is easily proved by Google Trends analysis. Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) and Spelinspektionen (Sweden's Gaming Authority) estimate the drop in channelization for Swedish online casinos "around 75% mark instead of the 90% planned by the government".

One of the latest (and most scandalous) innovations was the package of measures proposed in April 2020 by social security minister Ardalan Shekarabi. Site bard.nu wrote about them earlier. Let's recall:

  • Gamblers can deposit a maximum of SEK 5,000 per week
  • Casino bonuses may not exceed SEK 100
  • Players must set limits on the time and money spent on gaming

Now the package has been put into effect. What has changed?

BOS Petition 

The BOS petition insisted on revising the anti-COVID-19 provisions. The association stressed that the temporary measures would have a long-term negative impact on the Swedish market. 

In particular, the package of measures was based on the government's statement that the pandemic will make the population play more. However, according to the statistics of BOS operators, there was a decrease in gambling activity during the pandemic. ;

"We operate in a digital world and have direct access to all relevant data," the letter said. 

According to BOS, the new restrictions only force players to refocus on casinos without swedish license. More and more visitors are choosing to play on the black market. Offshore websites obtain every forth Swedish krona spent on online gambling.

CEOs of William Hill, Kindred Group, LeoVegas, NetEnt, and Betsson, who signed the petition, agree in this opinion. Half of the Swedish online gambling market joins the petition.

Online Casino Market Response

Moreover, even Spelinspektionen (Sweden's Gaming Authority) expresses alarm. The Gaming Authority notes that these restrictions would reduce the channelization of players to Sweden companies. Independent research firm Copenhagen Economics found channelization would fall from "an already low 75% to an even lower 52-63%".

Spelinspektionen says the SEK limit of 5,000 ($495) a week will force the most important players to left for the black market. The fact is that the average loss per Swedish citizen is $310 (SEK 3.043) for the entire year, according to the Authority for 2019. Meanwhile, 5-25% of the players who make larger deposits, bring 80-90% of the Swedish industry income. 

Thus, the established restrictions will force these high spenders to move this money away from the national industry to foreign casinos without swedish license.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) also expressed concern about the new measures. It wrote that unregulated gambling websites are easily available. They don't apply the restrictions and any other of Sweden's consumer protection measures. Although foreign sites have their actions to help problem players (such as Gamstop in Great Britain), the government's decision still does not seem reasonable.

Well, there is probably more research to be done to show how Social Security Minister Ardalan Shekarabi's measures have affected players and industry. Sweden's Public Health Authority will conduct a new study. The results must be revealed by February 28, 2021.


on Yo Joe!