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Post Pandemic: Will Sweden Lift Temporary Bonus Limits?

During the European Championship, Copa America and the Olympic Games there have been plenty of sporting events to wager money on. Although sports betting is huge and certainly can be entertaining, many still prefer online casinos. The casino games are better than ever and today there’s a game to be found for anyone with any preference. For many casino enthusiasts in Sweden though, the past couple of years have been frustrating. Many harsch restrictions were put in place and made it harder for people to play online casino games as they usually would. And during the pandemic, the government rolled out even more restrictions. This has led to a lot of frustration and it’s actually growing to be a big political issue in the country.

Sweden swirling from the past few months

Sweden has had a whirlwind of press the past couple of months but seems to have gotten back on track. More and more people are getting back into the swing of everyday living. Going back to work, getting vaccinations, and overall lower cases of the Coronavirus are looking promising as we move ahead. But the Swedes have had more things on their mind other than the virus. There has been political turmoil in the country where at one point the country seemed to be in a very serious situation. The Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, was even pressured to resign. Eventually, he didn’t and the political tension calmed down. Or at least temporarily.

As in many other countries, major pain points in society are tied to the various restrictions due to the virus. Some of these restrictions are in regards to gambling in general and online casino bonuses in particular.

Current bonus restrictions

Sweden Online Casinos

Only casinos licensed in Sweden may offer a welcome bonus. That bonus can only be offered once and it may not exceed 100 Swedish crowns in value. A regular bonus before these regulations could easily reach up to 20 000 Swedish crowns (around €2000), or more. Among other things, this is why it has been so popular for customers to sign up for an online casino because they knew that there was a great chance of receiving a relatively large casino bonus.

One frustrating thing about the bonus situation is that the casinos are only allowed to offer one bonus during the entire lifetime of a customer. This makes it hard for a casino to stimulate a customer and show customer appreciation. For most online casinos, it is very beneficial to have gamblers who have been customers for a long time because this means that the customers are satisfied with the selection of games, the customer support, the bonuses and so on. Besides this, it is important to reward gamblers who have been customers for a long time with special bonuses in order to make them stay even longer, but this is hard to do when the online casinos in Sweden are only allowed to offer one bonus during the entire lifetime of a customer. Then Swedish casinos can start to wonder whether it is most important to offer a bonus to new customers to attract them in the first place or whether it is better to wait and offer them a bonus when they have been customers for a while to show them appreciation.

However, if the casinos don’t offer a bonus to new customers, they will just risk that the customers will move on to another online casino where they can receive a welcome bonus. The fact that Swedish casinos can only offer one bonus to a customer is a huge problem. Swedish casino players are thus inclined to start an account on another casino, and then yet another casino, and so on. When the player has reached the end of all bonuses, he or she might be inclined to try an illegal site. This would obviously be a huge failure for the regulation as well as it would be a huge problem for the online gambling industry in general.

To further complicate things, the casinos are not allowed to hand out a casino bonus unless they have an exclusive casino operating license. Most casinos share a license with one or several other casinos. If a sister casino has already offered a bonus to a player, that means no other casino with that same license can offer a bonus to that particular player.

Looking ahead

We are beginning to see more pushback which might be what we need to get limits lifted. No bonuses, free spins, giveaways or anything of the sort is allowed once the casino has already offered it once. All the casinos that have been operating legally in Sweden are getting increasingly frustrated, and it doesn’t seem to be a sustainable situation. So we’re left with one question: Will casino bonus limits in Sweden end soon? It is likely that most of the limits will still be in place, but perhaps not as strict as they are today. Rumours are saying that one bonus per license per year, might be the next step. No matter what, some things have to change soon for the online casino industry in Sweden. Casino bonuses are one of the factors that draw the most attention from people who might want to try out online gambling for the first time, and it will continue to be a huge problem if the bonus restrictions won’t get loosened up just a bit.

Other restrictions

When the pandemic hit, the Swedish government doubled down on the gambling restrictions citing that problematic gambling could follow. These new restrictions on online gambling were initially only for a couple of months. The government keeps pushing back and has recently extended them to November 2021.

There’s also a mandatory three-second pause between spins to counter spending money without a brief pause between rounds. The fast-paced games are not really the same anymore due to this.

The government also introduced Spelpaus, which allowed players to lock their gaming accounts for months at a time. These are great in theory, but unfortunately, unlicensed casinos target these individuals heavily. As a player might be protected from playing from a licensed casino, they are utterly unprotected against illegal gambling sites..

Shawna Dudley

Shawna is an ambitious and free-spirited digital nomad with expertise in creating high-quality and SEO-friendly guides and reviews in the iGaming and travel industry. Follow her on Twitter or Linkedin or send her an email.