Svenska Spel Lowers Some Players' Limits Over Finances, Behaviour

January 18, 2022
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Swedish state-owned operator Svenska Spel has set lower deposit limits for a “small number” of its customers based on their financial means and behaviour.

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Swedish state-owned operator Svenska Spel has set lower deposit limits for a “small number” of its customers based on their financial means and behaviour.

Affected players have been alerted directly by the company about the decision after logging into their accounts.

A few players took to social media to voice concerns, with one pointing out that limits had been reduced by a factor of ten after receiving a message that the decision was based on the player’s “public income”.

A spokesperson for Svenska Spel told VIXIO GamblingCompliance that it will address the situation in more detail this week.

In an interview with local media last week, Kajsa Nylander, Svenska Spel’s sustainability manager, said the decision to lower the players’ limits was based on an assessment of their “financial ability” and behaviour.

Assessment of player financial ability is based on several factors, including a player’s age, to highlight potentially vulnerable customers, she said.

Nylander said the company has a responsibility to make sure players do not exceed their financial ability, and lowering limits gives them more control over playing within their means.

Svenska Spel has also said players can request to have their limits changed and that its decision to contact customers directly was due to only a “small number” of players being affected.

A spokesperson for the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) told VIXIO that players must be protected against excessive gambling, and licence holders must offer help to “reduce their gambling when there is reason to do so”.

“Key elements of the duty of care are that the licence holder must regularly monitor the players' gambling behaviour, make individual risk assessments, implement the required responsible gambling measures and then follow up on the effectiveness of the implemented measures,” according to the SGA.

However, the regulator said there are several ways to fulfil the duty of care and there are “no legal requirements for a licence holder to do affordability checks on their customers”.

The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS) said it does not know of any members doing exactly what Svenska Spel has done.

“Of course, there are imposed restrictions to vulnerable players and risky behaviour at all licensed operators. But based on financial ability and with such draconian lowering, from €10,000 to €100 a month is probably unique for Svenska Spel,” BOS secretary general Gustaf Hoffstedt said.

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