Sweden Tightens COVID Online Gambling Rules While Spain Repeals Them

The Swedish Government has introduced temporary restrictions for online gambling operators. New safety mechanisms were rolled out, increasing player protection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Swedish COVID-19 Legislation

The measures were created to respond to concerns that players are more vulnerable to harmful online gambling, during the crisis. The regulations will come into force on 2 July and will remain in place for the rest of 2020. The rules will apply to all online casino games, including slots.

Players are limited to a weekly deposit of $500 and bonuses are capped at $10. In addition to this, players are required to set time limits on how long they intend to spend on casino sites.

Ardalan Shekarabi, the Swedish Social Security Minister said that the COVID-19 lockdown was creating a situation where consumers are at a higher risk. He said these dangers must be counteracted “quickly and decisively”.

The country’s Public Health Authority will also be conducting further studies to examine online gambling behavior during the pandemic. They aim to gain a deeper understanding of how problem gambling has been influenced by the outbreak.

Unsurprisingly, the new measures have not been popular with operators or regulators. The Swedish gambling regulator said offshore gambling could increase by 80%, making the local laws void. Operator signed a petition asking Shekarabi not to pass the measures. Signatories included LeoVegas, Betsson, Kindred Group and William Hill.

The regulator has also suspended several licenses for illegally targeting Swedish customers. Others found themselves in hot water for not meeting the industry’s high standards.

Online Gambling Rules in Spain

Meanwhile, in Spain, authorities announced that laws restricting online gambling advertising are to be lifted. Operators are now allowed to go back to pre-COVID-19 requirements. They will be able to exercise all advertising and marketing activities with no hourly limitations. Of course, they will have to abide by restrictions and guidelines provided for in the original law.

During the pandemic, measures were introduced to ban “marketing actions which explicitly or implicitly encouraged consumers to gamble as a result of the exceptional circumstances that arose from the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Fast Offshore

If you are looking for advice on opening an online gambling company, Fast Offshore can help. Those that want to offer services in Sweden, Spain and the rest of the EU should get advice on regulations and rules for operation. During the current crisis, changes can happen quickly. Fast Offshore advocates for responsible and legal gambling and is on hand to ensure the compliance of our clients. To find out more about incorporation, licensing, compliance, and other matters, contact us today.