BOS urges Swedish government against gambling restriction extension

Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling, has urged the Swedish government to reconsider plans to extend COVID-19 gambling restrictions until next year.

The restrictions were introduced 2 July this year in an effort to combat problem gambling amid the pandemic and include a maximum weekly deposit limit of SEK 5,000 ($578.76) and an SEK 100 limit to bonus offers.

The Ministry of Finance in Sweden has proposed that the temporary restrictions be extended until 30 June 2021.

In a statement on the group’s website, Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary general of BOS, argued that the predicted rise in online casino which necessitated the restrictions did not materialise. Instead, he said horseracing betting, which has been excluded from the restrictions, saw a steep rise.

“All actors on the gambling market, such as the Swedish Gambling Authority, we and the government, knew this but unfortunately the government persisted in the erroneous claim that online casino activity would increase and that special restrictions were therefore called for regarding that form of gambling,” Hoffstedt commented.

“It is unfortunate that we can only state that the government is now making a double mistake when it, with the same erroneous claims about increased online casino gambling, extends the restrictions.”

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