Saturday, September 24, 2022

Swedish regulator deems temporary measures difficult to assess

The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) has said it is “difficult to assess” what impact temporary liability measures had on public health and consumer protection.

In evaluating online gambling restrictions put in place due to Covid-19, the regulator stated that it cannot easily attribute any developments to these temporary measures alone as the pandemic and new gambling regulation will also have played a role.

The SGA has submitted its interim report to Sweden’s government, outlining what effects liability measures may have had on problem gambling.

These measures came into force on 2 July 2020 and were eventually lifted on 14 November 2021. They were originally introduced in response to a purported rise in problem gambling due to the pandemic, and included a SEK 5,000 ($525) cap on deposits at online casinos and a corresponding loss limit for slot machines.

But in determining what impact such restrictions have had on public health and consumer protection, the SGA has come up empty-handed.

While only four months have elapsed since the measures were lifted, and a more in-depth report is due later, the regulator has thus far found it difficult to distinguish which developments occurred as a result of said measures, and which were caused more by Covid-19.

“It is currently not possible to determine what effect the pandemic has had. Against this background, it is also not possible for the Swedish Gambling Authority to assess the consequences of the temporary regulation for public health,” remarked the regulator in its interim report.

“It is also not possible to determine what the development would have looked like had the provisional regulation not been introduced.”

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