BOS claps back at proposed Swedish credit card ban

BOS claps back at proposed Swedish credit card ban

BOS claps back at proposed Swedish credit card ban
The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling or BOS, as the organization is known for its Swedish acronym, has published a statement commenting on the proposed ban on gambling on credit, which is picking momentum within lawmaker ranks and, has also been endorsed by the country’s watchdog, Spelinspektionen last week. Representing 18 gambling operators from the regulated market, BOS insists on lawmakers voting against the proposal. BOS, though acknowledges that this may not be possible, and offers a conciliatory path, which asks the government to ensure that “the obligation not to mediate payments for gambling purposes be imposed on those issuing credit cards,” in a bid to alleviate some of the burden that the new measure would put on operators screening their players for using credit cards to play. To clarify, BOS does not argue against the core argument, which is that players should not be gambling on credit and is generally in favor of finding a way to ensure that consumers are protected. BOS further noted that a previous study into the issue, and namely the Over-indebtedness Inquiry, revealed that there was not enough supporting evidence to unequivocally tie the use of credit cards for gambling to gambling-related harm, at least in Sweden. This was the organization’s opinion when the ban was first floated several months ago. “We share the Indebtedness Inquiry’s opinion that a ban on credit cards for gambling should not be introduced,” BOS added in a public statement signed by Secretary General Gustaff Hoffstedt. BOS has further examined customer habits involving credit cards, with the trade association noting that there has been an organic decline in such transactions and that credit cards are falling out of favor among players at their own pace. The association further reminded that the prevalence of problem gamblers was also low. Not least, credit cards are still used to pay for other services and products, not least alcohol, which could be potentially dangerous. Although alcohol and gambling addiction may be different in terms of the financial ruin they may cause, both are serious conditions with serious ramifications. Yet, Sweden is selling alcohol to people who pay on credit, even though 310,000 people in Sweden are addicted to alcohol, which is contrasted to the 40,000 people who are addicted to gambling. Hoffstedt also worries that the offshore gaming market is going to use this credit card ban to run further rings around regulated operators, who may struggle to maintain a good pace of channelization, which has already taken a hit, because of the new restrictions. BOS reminded in its statement that the legal gambling market has already faced several big hurdles over the past years, including pandemic restrictions and a mulled increased gambling tax. Image credit: Unsplash.com

27 MAY 2024

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