Two-thirds of TV commercials in Sweden are reportedly advertised by providers that practice illegal gambling activities.
The Swedish Gaming Authority (Lotteriinspektionen) reported that last year’s TV ads coming from the “Grey Market Operators” were valued at $152 million, which is equivalent to nearly SEK 1 billion. This sum is also double than what was spent on ads in 2011.
Market research company TNS Sifo, came up with statistics about the spending propensity of land-based and online gambling sites in Sweden.
The national gambling firm SvenskaSpel, which enjoys a monopoly in the country, experienced an increase of 44% for ad buys during the same period. The rise translated to $94 million.
Joakim Rosengren, the head of communications for the Swedish Gaming Authority, explained the reasons for the increased ad spending. He claims that there was “misinterpretation” of a High Court case in 2012 that involved the Swedish Lotteries Act.
He stated that the Act was discriminatory in its policy regarding domestic versus international gambling providers.
European Commission expressed strong concerns about the laws
The problem escalated to the point where even the European Commission (EC) voiced its concerns about Swedish gambling laws.
The EC warned Sweden to review and adjust its gambling policies in a more “systematic and consistent manner.” Failing to comply with the Commission’s wishes, would result in the possibility of being summoned to the European Court of Justice.