Sweden’s Gambling Ad Ban Proving Ineffective
By staff
The Swedish Gaming Board has announced that advertising firms in the nation made $103 million last year publishing illegal gambling adverts.

The Scandinavian nation has a ban on non-approved gambling firms advertising through its domestic media and also recently prosecuted ten media bosses for publishing such prohibited ads. Despite these, earnings were up by over $37 million from last year.

'It hardly feels worthwhile continuing to report cases when very little happens,' said Hakan Hallstedt, the Chief Legal Counsel of the Gaming Board.

The Board said that it has been reporting the editors of several major Swedish media outlets for publishing gaming ads from international companies for many years. In cases that have made it to court, the verdict has been in favour of the Gaming Board but these have all been appealed with the Supreme Court now considering whether it is to hear cases against the Editors-In-Chief of Expressen and Aftonbladet.

The Board said that Sweden's courts have effectively stood still on the gambling issue, waiting to see whether and how, the State will react with legislation to international firms targeting Swedish gamblers. Another factor is that the European Union has threatened Sweden with legal action in the European Court over the matter.

For its part, the Government has delayed resolving the issue with Swedish gambling legislation the subject of an inquiry, the results of which will not be clear until December of 2008.

'We've got a long journey ahead of us,' said Hallstedt.

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