Seven more CEOs sign BOS petition to Ardalan Shekarabi

5 May 2020

The chief executives of a further seven Swedish licensees have signed a petition organised by operator association Branscheforenigen for Onlinespel (BOS), protesting tightening restrictions imposed by Minister for Health and Social Affairs Ardalan Shekarabi.

The petition was first announced last week, alongside an open letter to the minister that warned increasingly stringent regulations risked pushing players to gamble via unregulated operators.

The five original signatories - Betsson’s Pontus Lindwall; Kindred Group’s Henrik Tjärnström; LeoVegas’ Gustaf Hagman; NetEnt’s Therese Hillman and William Hill’s Ulrik Bengtsson - have been joined by seven additional CEOs.

Lahcene Merzoug, CEO of the recently-rebranded ComeOn Group; Suprnation’s Henric Andersson; Hero Gaming’s Tomas Bäckman and  Videoslots’ Alexander Stevendahl have all signed the association’s petition.

Quickspin’s Daniel Lindberg; Casumo’s Shelly Suter-Hadad and Betway’s Anthony Werkman have now also signed.

Citing research commissioned by BOS from business consultancy Copenhagen Economics, the petition warned that efforts to channel players to licensed operators was being undermined by the new restrictions.

These include an SEK5,000 weekly deposit limit for all players, as well as an SEK100 cap on sign-up bonuses during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The government is also assessing new restrictions on return-to-player (RTP) rates. These new controls will be implemented from 1 June, and in place until the end of 2020, with a consultation process in which stakeholders can propose changes running until 7 May.

“My estimation is that the twelve gambling CEOs represent approximately half of the Swedish online gambling market,” BOS secretary general Gustaf Hoffstedt said. “It is crucial for the success of the licensing system and the safeguarding of costumer protection that Mr Shekarabi withdraws his additional measures towards the locally licensed operators.

“The licensing system is fragile and can’t endure further attacks from the Minister. He must do the opposite and safeguard the licensing system in the name of costumer protection.”

BOS is now calling on all chief executives from other Swedish licensees to sign the petition, whether or not they are a member of the association.

“Our only demand is that the company stands by the petition and if it is a B2C company that it holds a Swedish gambling licence,” Hoffstedt added.