|Two leading Swedish newspapers are to have their grievances against the State’s gambling monopoly heard in the nation’s Court of Appeals following a ruling by the Supreme Court last week.|
The newspapers, Aftonbladet and Expressen, have been angered by a Government ban prohibiting them from printing advertisements from non-Swedish online gambling providers in order to protect the State’s gambling monopoly, Svenska Spel.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court stated that several rulings from the European Court of Justice have brought Sweden’s recent Lottery Law into doubt and that the Court of Appeals needs to test whether this legislation is compatible with European articles.
The Chief Editors of both publications have fought for years for the right to appeal against the verdict of the District Court, which found the newspapers and their editors guilty of breaching the Lottery Law by accepting advertisements from foreign gaming operators.
The issue surfaced in public again last month following the publication of an open letter from the editor of Aftonbladet urging the European Commissioner for Internal Markets and Services, Charlie McCreevy, to take action against the State’s gambling monopoly.
The letter claimed that Swedish non-compliance with the European Union principle of free movement of trade and services between member nations has resulted in State interference and obstacles to legitimate online gambling advertisements in their newspapers.
Sweden is already under investigation by the European Commission for its protectionist gambling policies with compliance authorities steadily increasing pressure for a more open gambling industry.