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Gambling regulatory focus and drawbacks for 2021 in the UK, Sweden & Finland

UK players exposed to no deposit limits while Sweden & Finland imposes temporary deposit limits for player protection.


The iGaming industry is growing at a rapid pace leaving operators and regulators in a bit of a spin.

The quick expansion reveals various industry and regulatory shortcomings to focus on. Safe Gambling is a top priority and the majority of new regulations are being put in place to increase player safety.

The sudden rush in demand for changes could possibly lead to markets falling behind and others becoming impenetrable.

Latest developments in the iGaming markets

Brexit is finally shifting to its next phase leaving the question of what will happen when the UK exits from the EU and how it will affect the industry.

The UK is currently one of the most heavily regulated gambling markets in the EU. The transition shouldn't be too big a problem considering that the same laws and procedures will continue to apply.

The EU's single market includes over 500 million people. The UK's departure will see the market reducing significantly. Brexit along with the relocation of Gibraltar will possibly result in various companies moving or relocating elsewhere. Other slow rolls include new gambling licenses required for a number of gambling sites wishing to provide their services to the UK market.

The legislation is currently a priority, with the UK also looking into creating a dedicated supervisor for the Digital Markets Units. A code of conduct is set out by the DMU for companies with a strategic market status. A further focus will be on filling the gaps in the current regulatory framework and moderating/ minimising harmful content.

Currently, the UK's regulatory bodies focus on a smooth transition with Brexit, fighting the effects of COVID-19, and implementing safer gambling regulations.

It could be too much to handle, as various regulations and efforts get pushed back. A structured timeline needs to be in place to ensure new regulations are a priority.

Regulatory changes elsewhere

Countries like Finland and Sweden are still busy or in the process of imposing temporary deposit limits.

The Finnish gambling monopoly, Veikkaus, announced that they will be temporarily reducing the maximum amount players can lose daily. The new loss limit is capped at €500 and will remain in place until the end of the first quarter of 2021.

The good news for Finnish players is that the monthly loss limit returns to €2,000. It's the standard rate before COVID-19 struck. Many hope this will be the end of Veikkaus' monopoly over the industry.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) already provided a number of reasons for supporting the Finnish Gaming market opening to private operators. The biggest argument being there is no real halt of offshore gambling or substantial evidence proving the monopoly model protects players.

In the Netherlands, frustration grows as the launch of the regulated iGaming market has been delayed once again. According to a statement, the government postponed the launch by a month to provide operators more time to get used to the new regulations set to come.

The new Remote Gambling Act is set to come into force on the 1st of April 2021, with the market officially launching on the 1st of October 2021.

A year of big challenges

Brexit and COVID could prove to be too much to handle for the UK as it works on implementing and crafting new regulations.

In the meantime, countries like Finland and Sweden are imposing temporarily deposit limits. The UK has its work cut out as various new markets arise and players are actively seeking the safest gambling options.

2021 will be a year of even bigger things for the gambling industry and despite Brexit and COVID-19, the UK is continuously working on its industry regulations and safety.

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