Swedish Casinos and the Introduction of Play-Pause (Spelpaus)

15 Mar

The Swedish online casino industry has seen sweeping changes introduced over the last couple of years. Aiming to protect vulnerable gamblers, the entire online gaming market was relaunched with a new-look self-exclusion scheme in place.

Any casino that is licensed in Sweden must allow residents to block themselves not only from the website itself, but also from any other gambling services. This most basic of protections also now comes with an important, optional extra—players can choose not to be exposed to any gambling related advertising by operators licensed in Sweden.

Only a few months after the legislation was signed into law there were more than 30,000 casino players opting for play-pause, but not everybody is happy with the new rules. Many see this as nannying by the state and say the government is overreaching.

Playing without Spelpaus

Even though it is mandatory for licensed online casino operators to offer spelpaus, residents of Sweden are still free to play on websites that don’t conform, for examples read here.

Critics have also complained about the lack of bonus opportunities from licensed Swedish casinos. Where it is now the industry standard to offer a selection of bonuses and promotions upon signing up and making a first-time deposit, Swedish casinos must now strictly offer only one bonus per player.

Is this really helping anybody? The idea is obviously to prevent players from being constantly enticed from one casino to the next in order to take advantage of the mega offers, but without bonuses and promotions a player’s money just won’t go as far. In fact, many will notice how much faster their balance drops and get frustrated leading to chasing losses.

Players who wish to play on offshore websites shouldn’t feel that they are taking a crazy risk because these sites are mostly just licensed somewhere else, such as in the Carribean. We can play with real anonymity and respect at many of these options.

Casinos licensed in Sweden also have a mandatory slow play setting. If it wasn’t bad enough being expected to play with only a single bonus, we must also contend with being forced to wait before each bet. The feeling is that although the legislators have good intentions, they may as well have banned the industry because these casinos just aren’t competitive any longer.

Some Advantages

It isn’t all doom and gloom for players who feel like the protection of a Swedish license because there are some advantages. For example, some deposit methods are only available on casinos with a top grade license, such as offered in Sweden. Paypal is notoriously picky when it comes to this, and, of course, they just happen to be the biggest ewallet payment processor around.

There is also an issue with the choice of games. Some of the major games providers, such as Netent, Microgaming, Playtech, will not work with casinos who have a license that is not so reputable.

So, as we can see, it’s really up to what the customer wants. Governments try to take this choice out of our hands all too frequently, but in this specific case the customer can choose as they wish. With spelpaus and a bad deal, or without.

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