Swedish gambling monopoly SvenskaSpel and the country’s advertising industry are found in a dispute over attempts to stop gambling ads from other EU nations, however SvenskaSpel’s request may be in contravention of EU law.
The New Year has got off to a heated start in Swedish gambling news, after the state-run gambling monopoly SvenskaSpel launched an aggressive attack on Tidningsutgivarna, the Swedish trade association for newspapers, and its members.
Chairman of SvenskaSpel Anitra Steen used the financial and business newspaper Dagens Industry to accuse the media association of being desperate for advertising revenues and that Tidningsutgivarna was being used by unnamed ‘illegal gambling’ elements.
Online gambling is fully legal under Swedish gambling laws, where SvenskaSpel monopolizes the entire market in the country. However, the government has expressed its intent to regulate the Swedish online gambling market with proposed legislation changes.
Scandinavian gambling advertising debate heats up
However, SvenskaSpel and the government could be violating EU law through this monopolization, since the attempted ban on advertising could be seen as unconstitutional.
Steen defended the allegations that SvenskaSpel were violating EC rules in her op-ed, even asserting that efforts to involve the EC by Tidningsutgivarna was, in fact, pointless.
CEO of Tidningsutgivarna Per Hultengård argued that Steen’s statement was both misleading and incorrect, still believing that there will be further action from the European Commission.
However, PokerNews Nordic doubts that there will be any intermediate action on either side, due to 2014 being an election year.