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LeoVegas and the strict Swedish regulatory restrictions

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Swedish regulatory body’s focus on player safety and LeoVegas’s failure to meet regulatory requirements.

The online casino industry is continuously increasing its efforts in creating a safer environment for online players.

Regulatory bodies and government officials are taking measures against operators that do not fully comply.

Sweden is among the regions with the strictest approach leaving many operators like LeoVegas with no choice but to increase their safety efforts.

LeoVegas hit with fine

The leading iGaming operator LeoVegas AB got hit with a $238,100 fine for a breach of customer due diligence protocols.

The Swedish iGaming operator is expected to pay the fine due to a breach in protocols regarding the region's anti-money laundering rules.

Now LeoVegas is fighting the claims, arguing that these shortcomings came at a time of market opening. The operator urges the regulator to consider that it is continuously developing its policies and has already changed and updated its customer due to diligence routines before the start of the investigation.

Spelinspektionen states that licensed iGaming firms by law must identify their customers and find out enough information so they can 'assess and manage' all risks. According to the regulator, LeoVegas AB did not comply with these regulations which are necessary to initiate more comprehensive measures. This increases risks of LeoVegas AB being used for money laundering and terrorist financing.

LeoVegas learns

Despite the fines and bad press, LeoVegas continues to show shine and grow. The industry-leading operator's recent stats reveal there is a 293% increase in RG interactions.

In this period, the operator conducted 24,638 responsible customer reviews which is a 55.9% increase from the previous year. They also had a massive 185.1% increase in self-exclusion from players.

This after the introduction of the LeoLine gambling helpline in 2019. The LeoLine is a new responsible gambling chat service assisting with responsible gambling at the casino.

While more players are using the responsible gambling tools the number of players setting deposit limits has gone down to 53%. There has also been an increase in revenue with customers spending up to €65 more per month. This according to LeoVegas is due to the increase in consumer protection.

Sweden's deposit caps an opening for black market operators

The Swedish Government continues to implement regulatory changes which include the proposal of a weekly deposit cap.

The weekly deposit cap, set at SEK 5,000, was put in place for player protection during the pandemic and has been extended until November 14, 2021. According to the Swedish online operator association Branschföreningen för Onlinespe (BOS) the deposit limit pushes players towards black market sites.

BOS chair Gustaf Hoffstedt reveals that it increases the difficulties of regulating the industry and protecting players. With the latter shifting their focus to unlicensed sites where fewer restrictions apply.

Hoffstedt states that it could potentially lead to a growth in black market gaming and a decline in regulated gaming activity. At the current time, there is already a leakage of about 25% when it comes to online casino and increasing restrictions will lead to a rise in the numbers.

The aim should be to decrease the numbers and increase player numbers at regulated casinos. While there is the justification behind the deposit cap, evidence suggests that less forced restrictions lead to more responsible gameplay from players. A must at the current time is for Spelinspektionen to shift the focus and find ways to ease the restrictions and make the regulated market more viable for players.

This was in response to the consultation and clarification call by Spelinspektionen on the deposit cap earlier in April.

Another legal act by the Swedish gaming regulator was to find three operators guilty of operating without a licence, thus ordered them to leave the market.

What else can we expect from Spelinspektionen? CasinoWow will follow and keep you posted!

Published: May 25, 2021

Anything incorrect or missing?

Article by Stelly

CasinoWow Contributor

Hey there! I am Stelly, and happily, I'm part of CasinoWow's content team. It excites me to be able to write and share with all gambling enthusiasts unbiased reviews and news that contribute to the gambling community and industry. Thankfully, I also have the chance to help you make an informed choice for casino brands and games, as well as provide interesting guides and news.

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