In 2019, major online gambling companies rushed to Sweden, keen to take advantage of new online gambling legislation. It quickly became one of the biggest and most lucrative markets in Europe, but in the 18 months since that date, a lot has happened and opinions have soured somewhat.
New regulations could do even more damage, as operators are growing increasingly frustrated with the regulator’s new rules.
The New Rules
The rules that are causing so many issues for gambling operators concern the restriction of gambling deposits to the equivalent of just $537 a week.
These rules took effect at the beginning of the month, but as the days have progressed, they have caused even more arguments and problems.
There are a few issues at play here, and the lack of consistency and clarity is at the centre of most arguments. Firstly, gambling operators are wondering why the limit has been set at such a relatively low amount and are asking for data to backup these restrictions.
After all, most of what happens in the online gambling industry is the result of extensive research and data, as well as plenty of common sense. We know, for instance, that bonus offers incite gambling and are a particular problem with gambling addicts.
Reload Bonuses and Free Spins are hugely tempting for problem gamblers. It’s like walking an alcoholic through a drink’s aisle and promising them free samples and Buy One Get One Free deals.
We also know that time-outs and self-imposed deposit limits work, and there is no shortage of data out there to support this.
But where is the research that backs such a relatively modest limit? This seems to be the biggest issue that gambling operators have, but it’s not the only one.
Another concern is how these limits impact multi-service operators. Do they only apply to casinos and sportsbooks, do they operate independently, or do they apply to all sections of an online gambling site?
Finally, while a deposit limit of $537 can help the average person to keep their gambling under control, preventing them from losing a dangerous amount of money, where do high rollers stand? What happens to the millionaires who earn more than that every hour? $537 to them may feel like $10 or $20 to the average person, and no one should be limited to a weekly betting budget of just $10!
With many inconsistencies and issues, gambling operators are worried that they will inadvertently fall afoul of these new regulations, at which point they could be fined millions of dollars.
It’s a genuine concern, and it’s something that has happened multiple times since 2019. LeoVegas is one of the most vocal detractors of this new regulation and it has also received some of the biggest fines in the past. It has been on the receiving end of complaints about bonus offers, Know Your Customer rules, and more.
So, what happens now?
A few days ago, LeoVegas made a formal call to the Swedish regulators to request more information and insist that these rules are either amended or clarified.
That may happen, it may not, but whatever happens, this likely won’t be the last we will hear of LeoVegas and the Swedish gambling market in 2021.