Swedish Government’s Duty of Care in Times of Pandemic

Serious financial consequences have followed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak with increased risk of unemployment, sick leave and financial uncertainty. Considering the increased risk of ill mental health and gambling problems during this time, the Swedish government has adopted a temporary ordinance on responsible gambling, targeting forms of gambling with particular risks, such as online casinos and slot machines.

The measures are designed to protect vulnerable players from gambling-related harms during the COVID-19 pandemic and a new set of temporary online gambling measures have entered into force on the 2nd of July and will expire at the end of 2020.

The temporary provisions state that the deposit limit for gambling on online casinos may not exceed SEK 5 000 a week. A corresponding weekly loss limit will apply when gambling on slot machines. Bonuses offered by licence holders operating online casinos and slot machines may not exceed SEK 100. In addition to these limitations, it is now mandatory for players to set time limits on how long they can gamble on online casinos and slot machines.

Through the rest of 2020, gambling operators licensed by Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) will have to introduce strict time limits and depositing limits to boost customer protection. Temporary measures will stay under the periodic review of SGA and Swedish social security and public health authorities.

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