Why is the Swedish Government so strict about gambling?

 (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

People all around the world enjoy gambling. For many, it can be a fun pastime and a way to win a little bit of money here and there. Most people do not have problems with gambling, but that is certainly not true for everyone. Because gambling has the potential to cause problems with a person’s finances, personal life, and job, some countries have strict gambling laws that are meant to help curb these problems. Sweden is one of those countries.

The Restrictions Loosen Slightly

Up until very recently, Sweden had very strict rules surrounding gambling. Over the past couple of years, they have reduced their stranglehold somewhat. However, they are still quite strict compared with many other countries. In January of 2019, Sweden enacted new laws that ended the monopoly the state had on gambling. Before this, the only company that could offer online gambling to people in Sweden was Svenska Spel. Of course, some companies tried to get around this.

Sweden decided to make some changes, as they knew that it could help them to increase tax revenues. They added a range of gambling reforms. Today, the Swedish Gambling Authority can determine whether they will or will not approve private operators to get a license to operate in the country. Even though the restrictions are not as severe as they once were, there are still many restrictions in place.

Why Are There Restrictions?

One of the big questions that many Swedes ask is why there are so many restrictions in place. To them, it might feel as though the government is overstepping its bounds and acting as a babysitter by telling people what they can and can’t do with their money. While it might seem like this, the goal behind the restrictions tends to be more altruistic. They are concerned about people who have gambling problems.

This is why they only allow casinos licensed in Sweden to offer welcome bonuses. They view bonuses and free spins as being carrots on a stick, essentially. They worry that it will make people more prone to gambling as they chase those bonuses.

One of the other restrictions is the amount that can be deposited. The government worries that some people might be spending all of their money on gambling, which would make it hard for them to afford the necessities. Therefore, they enacted a restriction on deposits. The restriction was meant to be used for a few months during the pandemic to help keep people from gambling away their money. However, the government then continued to extend this restriction. Currently, it is expected to remain in place until at least November 2021.

Another one of the restrictions has to do with slot machines. Often, people push the button without thinking when they are playing slots since there isn’t any strategy to it. In some cases, they might end up spending more than they realize. With the three-second pause between spins that has been implemented by all casinos with a Swedish license, they hope that it will help to curb this problem.

While this could help some people to curb their gambling habits, it’s not an ideal solution for those who have the extra income to spare and who want to gamble. It restricts their ability to play, and it also means that the casinos are likely to earn less.

Spelpaus is another one of the features that the government created to help people who may have a gambling problem. This is a tool that is used as a “game break” that people can turn on for themselves. If they realize that they are spending too much money gambling, they can turn off their ability to gamble by reporting to Spelpaus.

It is similar to ROFUS in Denmark and GamStop in England. The players that use Spelpaus, which is part of all casinos with Swedish licenses, will no longer be able to log onto their accounts and gamble. They can choose to be on their game break for one month, three months, six months, or until further notice. If you choose until further notice, it blocks you for 12 months.

This can be a good option for those who don’t want to gamble when they don’t have the money to do so and have control problems. However, if you turn yourself off at Spelpaus and then your situation changes, such as having more income, you can’t turn it on again. You have to wait until the game break period you chose is over.

What Can Players Do?

If you live in Sweden and you don’t have a gambling problem, you might feel a little put off by these restrictions. They take away from your enjoyment and your freedom to gamble the way you would like. Although you understand that some people do have gambling problems, you wonder why everyone is lumped together. Fortunately, you don’t have to gamble at a casino with a Swedish license if you don’t want to. You always have the option of choosing a casino utan Svensk licens.

These are foreign casinos that are not licensed in Sweden. It’s legal for Swedish nationals to use these sites for gambling, and it is a way to avoid all of those restrictions and finally get the bonuses you want. There are many casinos from which to choose with a wide range of games.

Keep in mind that even though they are not licensed in Sweden, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have a license. They are still regulated. It’s just by a different authority. This might be the Curacao e-Gaming or the Malta Gaming Authority, for example. They are not bound by the same restrictions as casinos based in Sweden.

If you are interested in these types of casinos, now is the perfect time to start looking. Take the time to research the sites, check their licenses, their bonuses, deposit and withdrawal requirements, etc. Learn as much as you can about the casino and find the solution that will meet your specific gambling requirements. It’s one of the best ways for Swedish nationals to gamble.