It’s unclear whether Sweden’s deposit cap had an impact, according to Spelinspektionen.

It’s unclear whether Sweden’s deposit cap had an impact, according to Spelinspektionen.

Sweden’s gambling authority, Spelinspektionen, has spoken out over the country’s recently lifted deposit cap. It is impossible to assess whether it was advantageous or not, according to the regulator. The deposit cap in question was implemented in July 2020 in response to government concerns that the quarantine would encourage people to risk more. Regardless of their income, bettors can only deposit SEK 5,000 (USD 528) per month, according to the rules. While some applauded the initiative, others were not pleased.

The deposit cap was eliminated in November of last year, which was fortunate for the latter. When this happened, the regulator was tasked with determining whether the actions had any impact — positive or negative. This prompted Spelinspektionen to study the various data and statistics from the previous several months to determine if there were any discernible patterns in player behaviour.

The commission looked into whether the policy reduced problem gambling and if operators followed it. The Swedish Enforcement Agency, the Swedish Public Health Agency, and the Swedish Consumer Agency were all questioned about their observances. Spelinspektionen contacted a number of different organisations in an attempt to get a more complete picture of the deposit cap’s consequences. The regulator also spoke with the country’s operators and compared all of the information with information from the Danish gaming market.

Spelinspektionen is unable to provide a definitive response.

Finally, Spelinspektionen stated that it cannot determine for certain whether the deposit cap had an impact, owing to the turbulent nature of recent years. As a result, the regulator came to the conclusion that it is impossible to establish whether any fluctuations in the statistics were caused by the deposit cap or by other causes.

On some other observances, the authority was more unequivocal. It was noted that overall problem gambling rates stayed relatively unchanged during the pandemic, but that iGaming gamblers’ rates were substantially higher. Furthermore, while some of their peers attempted to lawfully exploit the system, the bulk of operators stayed compliant. Players favoured licenced operators, though the authority couldn’t say if this was due to the deposit cap or other causes.

The operators were instructed by Spelinspektionen to develop their own findings on how the deposit cap affected the market.

Finally, Spelinspektionen pointed out that the contentious deposit restriction did not relate to the total amount a player could deposit, but rather to the amount a player could deposit per operator. This means that determined gamblers might just play with multiple businesses to get around the cap. If another deposit cap is needed in the future, the regulator believes it would be ideal if it applied to all licensees.

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