|In the latest instance of its aggressive initiative against online gambling, the Swedish Gaming Board, the Lotteriinspektionen, has requested London-based betting exchange RedBet Ltd hand over information on its employees.|
This case follows the Board's demand two months ago for employee information from 24hPoker and the apparently parallel activities of the Swedish tax authorities to crack down on perceived tax evasion.
Many see the Board’s actions as an attempt to protect the country's monopolistic bans on all but Government-owned gambling operations, which has placed it at odds with the European Commission.
The power to demand usually private information from online gambling companies is based on Swedish laws that permit the Board to require information if it is of the opinion that a commercial entity is carrying on an illegal gambling business in the country. Such information may be required to enable the Board to establish whether significant business for the company is being conducted without authority on Swedish soil.
Fines may be imposed for companies refusing to comply with such a request and stiff penalties can be invoked if the Board decides that a company is providing illegal gambling services, including the promotion of gambling sites to Swedish clients.
It is understood that the Swedish authorities are especially interested not only in the activities and assets of companies but also the number of employees a company may have in-country. Should prosecutions eventuate, these will be seminal proceedings as thus far there has been no judicial test of the Board's decisions.