|In Sweden, the Lottery Inspection Authority is threatening Betsson with a fine after the online betting provider opened its first land-based venue in Stockholm almost two weeks ago.|
Officials have filed a police report claiming that Betsson's shop violates Article 38 of the Swedish Lottery Act but the OMX-listed firm stated that the venue would remain open as it complies with European Union law.
'Given the current legal position, the Lottery Inspection's actions are perilous,” said Pontus Lindwall, Chief Executive Officer for Betsson.
“If these actions harm Betsson in any way, we will demand damages. We are convinced that the gaming monopoly will be declared illegal by European Community court.'
Betsson stated that by operating the betting shop it is using its right to advertise gaming services already provided to Swedish consumers over the Internet. This freedom to provide services within the Community is given to all citizens of the 27-nation group and is superior to the Lottery Act.
The Stockholm-based firm also revealed that it had held talks with the Lottery Inspection before the launch of the betting shop in order to get its view of the legal situation.
'At the meeting, the Lottery Inspection agreed with us that some parts of the Lottery Act are dubious and may not comply with European Community law,” said Lindwall.
“I am, therefore, very surprised by the actions taken by the Inspection over the last couple of days. An Authority should not take actions on a weak basis, which can hurt a particular company.'
Lindwall stated that the shop’s inauguration went well while a company spokesperson asserted that the firm would continue to operate the venue in order to offer better odds in a relaxing environment.