- Patrik Hofbauer, CEO of Svenska Spel, harshly criticized Sweden’s thriving restaurant-casino industry
- The lack of control and rules over casino activities in restaurants has opened the door to money laundering and misuse by people with gambling addictions
- Hofbauer has called for the removal of the exemption for casino restaurants from the general gambling regulations
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Svenska Spel CEO and President Patrik Hofbauer harshly criticized the lack of control and rules in the Swedish restaurant-casino sector in a post on Svenska Spel’s corporate blog. Hofbauer has called for a change in the regulations and highlights as one of his main concerns that a person with gambling problems can easily gamble in a restaurant in Sweden without any restrictions.
Lose 1000 SEK ($100) per minute
There are 375 licensed restaurant-casinos in Sweden which, together with gaming operators, offer Black Jack tables and roulette games as an attractive alternative to the usual restaurant. However, the main problem is not the concept but the fact that these sites are exempt from the regulations that all other gambling activities must follow. Therefore, these operations operate outside of normal control mechanisms such as the gambling suspension register and the law which controls that there is no money laundering.
Hofbauer points out that, in accordance with the latest amendment to the legal regulations, the betting limit on Blackjack has been increased from 75 SEK ($7) to 236 SEK ($23) per hand, which allows, especially for high rollers , losing 1000 SEK ($100) per minute. Spelfriheten, an organization that helps people with gambling problems, reported that gamblers often say that with the help of alcohol, it is not difficult to spend more time at the Blackjack table than is reasonable.
Hofbauer: Remove exemption for restaurant-casinos
Hofbauer has called for change over the past two years, describing the restaurant-casino industry as a black hole. The absence of control mechanisms over this vast activity means that it is unclear who is playing and for what money. Therefore, Hofbauer demands a change in the regulations:
We have one requirement and one wish – to remove the exemption. Honest business can withstand scrutiny and a level playing field. Remove exemptions to comply with the law on protection of players and money laundering.
Svenska Spel CEO and President Patrik Hofbauer
Therefore, it provides an opportunity for those who have closed themselves to gambling or have a gambling addiction to indulge in such activities without being registered.