BonusFinder urges rethink of Swedish regulations

BonusFinder urges rethink of Swedish regulations

Affiliate specialist BonusFinder.com has called on the Swedish government to reconsider temporary regulations that have been introduced due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) after it noted a rise in searches for ‘unlicensed casino’.

Published 14th May 2020

The government’s new plans include the introduction of stricter bonus limits of SEK100 (£8.36/€9.44/$10.25), as well as mandatory weekly deposit limits of SEK5,000 for an initial six-month period from 1 June.

The idea behind the regulations was to protect people from gambling-related harm during the coronavirus crisis, but BonusFinder.com said it instead puts the country’s regulated market at risk of long-term consequences, including a sharp increase in black market activity.

In a formal response to a consultation on the government’s latest proposals, BonusFinder.com said it had identified more than 54 unlicensed sites targeting Sweden compared to the 65 licensed operators, with the majority offering online casino.

The research, conducted by using Google Trends, also found the total number of searches for unlicensed casinos targeting Sweden jumped 305% in the last 12 months.

In addition, BonusFinder.com found that over the last 12 months, searches for ‘casino utan licens’ (and other similar terms), saw a 710% growth compared to a 173% increase in ‘online casino’.

Fintan Costello, managing director of Bonusfinder.com, said: “We understand the Swedish government has put forward its proposals with the best intentions to protect its citizens, but as our research has shown, the existing restrictive measures have resulted in a large number of players turning to unlicensed operators outside of the legal framework and without any protection. Channelisation rates are falling and unlicensed brands are booming.

“Our message to the government is to seriously reconsider its proposals. More stringent measures would only serve to further fuel the existing black market.

“The consequences of these actions would be felt for a long period of time as players lost to the illegal offering would not easily return to regulated sites once measures are lifted.”

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