10k Swedes Block Themselves from New Gambling Sites
As many as 10k adults in Sweden have chosen to formally block themselves from being able to access new online gambling sites in the country.
The gambling regulatory body in Sweden, the Spelinspektionen recently announced that these 10,000 adults had registered themselves on the new registry for self-exclusion from gambling, Spelpaus.se. The national registry was rolled out along with the new regulated online gambling market on January 1, 2019.
It was last year, in October, that Spelinspektionen first announced its plans for its self-exclusion program. It requires all online gambling operators with a Swedish license to check the registry first before they send out any targeted ads or accept wagers from any Swedish gambler. Their websites are also required to feature the Spelpaus site link in a clear and visible manner, so that Swedish customers will have the option to easily block themselves from such sites should they choose to do so.
As seen in the recent announcements from the regulatory body, a major portion of those adults who have chosen to register with the program have opted for a total exclusion, which blocks them from ever accessing gambling sites at any point of time. A few of them have opted for a “time out,” which could last between one to six months, depending on what they have chosen for themselves.
According to Anders Sims, the spokesperson for Spelinspektionen, it appears that the self-exclusion program is highly popular among the Swedish people as shown in the high approval rates from social media mentions.
The Swedish Spelpaus program is highly similar to ROFUS, a program launched by neighboring country Denmark in June 2012. ROFUS is also a self-exclusion program that the Danish government introduced along with the new regulated online gambling market in the country. Within three years, 5,100 gamblers registered with the program. By the end of Q3 2018, as many as 16,368 individuals were registered, out of which 68 percent had chosen for a permanent and total self-exclusion.
Several operators failing to do their part may face repercussions
Despite many people registering for the Spelpaus program, several of the registrants have reported that they have access to the new gambling sites despite choosing to self-exclude. According to Anders Sims, this implies that multiple online gaming operators are not following the rules and have failed to fulfill their obligations.
Such operators will be given a chance to explain themselves so that serious action can be taken accordingly if the issues aren’t resolved, Sims added.