Sweden’s online gambling legislation causing difference in opinion

  • The results of Sweden’s gambling review recommended Svenska Spel’s monopoly on the market be replaced
  • Svenska Spel head honchos have their say in Swedish newspaper

The ongoing debate from Sweden’s online gambling industry review, which was published in spring has recently seen a new development. The country’s state-owned company operating in the regulated gambling market entered discussions with its own regulation recommendations via Swedish news outlet, Dagens Samhälle.

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However, Fredrik Schulte (a member of the Swedish Moderate Party) has reportedly labelled Spel’s input as ‘serious mischief’ and is allegedly unhappy with its apparent bid to steer Swedish legislation in the way of the gambling provider’s favour.

Industry review

The results of the year-and-a-half long review were made public earlier this year. It recommended that Svenska Spel’s stranglehold on the provision of licensed iGaming services should be replaced and a more ‘open’ market should be created to allow overseas operators to be granted a gaming license.

Svenska Spel CEO, Lennart Käll and Chairman, Erik Strand responded to this by highlighting two areas that need to be focused on when creating new regulations.

Kall and Strand reportedly said that the need to focus on the minimization of problem gambling risks and the introduction of effective mechanisms against illegal gambling were key points, but also issued a warning over the possibility of international operators entering the local market.

The pair suggested in their article that when international operators express an interest then they should be scrutinized carefully before being granted licenses from Swedish regulators.

What happens now?

Svenska Spel is the only authorised operator of online betting services in Sweden and will undoubtedly be watching what happens with lawmakers and proposed changes to the regulations.

Of late, grey market operators have been taking profits from local markets, leading to Svenska calling for a ‘fair set of regulations to create fair competition’.

What happens now will be determined by Sweden’s Riksdag, which will draw up the new legislative framework and when complete, introduce it into the country as a law. Early 2019 is the expected date for the regulations to come into effect.

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