|In Sweden, the ruling Moderate Party has voted to de-monopolise the nation’s gambling industry and privatise Svenska Spel, the country’s Government-owned gaming company.|
At its annual conference in Gavle over the weekend, the Party voted to turn away from the Government's online gambling monopoly after previously eschewed privatisation, a move that incurred the wrath of the European Commission.
However, opinion was swayed at the conference by arguments put forward by Member of Parliament Tomas Tobe who argued that abandoning the monopoly policy could open up the Swedish market to gambling companies in other European Union member nations and placate the European Commission.
Delegates were told that Sweden must abolish the current monopoly and join England and Italy in regulating the industry and that funds would have to be made available for problem gambling research to ensure the right sort of restrictions were enforced.
Other political parties apparently share the Moderate’s change of heart on Svenska Spel with only the Christian Democrats opposed to regulation and privatising Svenska Spel.
Svenska Spel generated over $721.52 million in profits last year and publicly listing the company could see it valued at up to ten billion dollars, making it a major player on the European gambling scene.