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New deposit cap for online casino customers in Sweden

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A new deposit cap that will limit how much online casino customers can deposit each month is on the cards for Sweden.

It's no secret, responsible gambling and how to keep gamblers safe from harm is top of mind for most regulators around the world. For some, this means limiting how much time and money players can spend on online casino games.

Over the last couple of years, many regulators have experimented with different methods that could curb possible gambling harm. From monitoring player activity to cutting down on how gambling is advertised, gambling regulations are scrutinized.

In a continued effort to keep a tight grip on how players interact in Swedish online casinos, the country will be implementing a new deposit cap.

Lower deposit cap for Sweden

The deposit cap that is set to come into play by February will apply to all online casino users. This will take place after a consultation by the Swedish government which will run from the 17th of January until the 7th of February 2022.

Once the deposit limit is implemented, it will run until 30 June 2022. The reason for the consideration of a deposit cap is due to the worsening Covid-19 levels that are still forcing players to stay at home.

The proposed deposit cap will be set at SEK4,000 (£325.6/€389.2/$439.2) per month.

“In a welfare state like Sweden, there must be strong protection for those who gamble for money. That is why we are reintroducing enhanced consumer protection now that the risk of problem gambling is increasing as a result of the pandemic,” explained Ardalan Shekarabi, Sweden’s Minister for Social Security.

Player protection has been cited as the reason for all of the current limits set by Spelinspektionen. The previous deposit cap was set at SEK5000 but recently came to an end after many extensions.

Other safe gambling measures and restrictions include a cap of SEK100 on sign-up bonuses, a SEK4000 loss limit for physical slot machines, as well as required daily, weekly, and monthly time limits for online casinos.

Shekarabi has called on Spelinspektionen to consider a permanent casino deposit cap going forward.

Seeking a way around restrictions

As with most things in life, people who are put in a corner look for a way out and casino players are no different.

In order to keep enjoying the Swedish casino games they love with a higher cap on deposits, it has been revealed that players attempted to circumnavigate the system in place.

By setting a high spend limit on their accounts, making a deposit and then switching to a lower cap while playing, players attempted to mess with how the deposit limit functions.

Due to this misconduct, Swedish casinos were required to contact all players that had raised their spending limit within 96 hours. The operator could only recommend that the player in question cut back their spending budget, but it was also used as a deterrent.

While most are in support of the limits in place, Secretary-general Gustaf Hoffstedt of Sweden’s gambling trade association Branscheforenigen for Onlinespel (BOS), has spoken out.

Hoffstedt stated that the caps simply push players to create more accounts at different casinos. He mentioned that there has been a “sharp increase” in the number of accounts created by players across the country. He believes that the government should do more to protect consumers and reconsider the caps and limitations in place.

Higher risks due to Covid-19

As numbers climb and more people are forced to stay at home and avoid gatherings, the Swedish government has seen an increase in online gambling and possible harm.

The state’s problem gambling helpline revealed that 45% of callers stated that they played slots as their online casino game of choice. This was up from 13% in previous years.

While the deposit cap and other limitations should help this cause, the Swedish government has revealed that it fears these controls may push players to unlicensed and unregulated online casinos instead. For now, the percentage of gamblers playing at legal online casinos remains steady.

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