Swedish gambling laws are a bit fuzzy when it comes to gambling on the internet. All land-based gambling in the country is currently monopolized by the state-run Svenska Spel, and this company’s reach officially extends to include online gambling as well, but their monopoly online is not strongly enforced. Loose attempts have been made by the Swedish government to keep players from accessing foreign internet gambling sites, but in fact no formal rules have been established, and Swedish players find it easy to gamble online using foreign internet gambling sites.
The town of Jonkoping, however, has decided to take matters into its own hands. In a recent study, Jonkoping officials monitored the use of the city’s 8,000 public computers to see how students and employees spend their time online. The results were astonishing – up to 80% of internet bandwidth was used for illegal file sharing, and a combined total of 1,300 hours were spent visiting websites associated with pornography and internet gambling. In addition to these direct records, indirect evidence of attempts to cover IP addresses and to anonymize web surfing activities point to even more illicit use.
In order to control the use of “inappropriate websites” such as Swedish poker rooms or file sharing websites on public computer, Jonkoping officials have ordered technology updates at a cost of nearly SEK 500,000 ($70,000). These web filters will allow managers to see exactly how computers are being used, and to block online casino and other websites.
Because these are public computers, the owners are within their rights to control how they are used. Players using their own computers can freely access online gambling sites in Sweden, but so long as they are using public computers, Jonkoping have the final word.