The European Commission took Sweden to court accusing the state of violating some of the EU’s principle of free movement of services.
Like most of the Nordic region, Sweden has a strict control over its gambling situation. The current Swedish gambling legislation limits licenses to state-owned or local operators, a law that goes against the EU’s founding principle of allowing capital, people and services to circulate freely throughout its 28 member states.
The Swedish online state-owned operator, Svenska Spel, reasons that this strange arrangement limits the harmful effects that gambling can have on the players. The European Court of Justice is on the other side of the coin, saying that the way they implement their policies doesn’t gel with their stated aim of protecting the public.
The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA)states that the effectiveness of this gambling monopoly has decreased in recent years. It isn’t as good as it used to be when it comes to preventing gambling problems, criminal activity and promoting responsible gambling.
When the European Commission will eventually free the Swedish gambling market the current range of games and casinos available to the Nordic state will surely increase. Even though there are some casinos operating in Sweden, the possibility of expanding the number of online casinos, sports betting operators, and poker rooms can only be a good thing for both players and companies alike.
But as they say in Sweden, “don’t sell the pelt before the bear is shot.” Or in other words, don’t start celebrating just yet. The case hasn’t been heard, and until that happens, there’ll be no change on the Swedish gambling scene.
Let’s just hope that it’ll work out for the best for all players. We’ll keep you posted on any new developments in this very exciting news story. Hopefully there’ll be some positive developments on the horizon for Swedish players.