Report Recommends Opening Up Swedish Market
By Staff
In Sweden, the National Gambling Consultation has issued a report calling on the Government to partially break up the Svenska Spel monopoly and allow foreign online operators into the Scandinavian nation for the first time.

Svenska Spel is a State-owned gambling monopoly that has come under increasing pressure from the European Commission for violating European Union competition regulations.

Formed in 1997 following the merger of Sweden's two largest lottery organisations, it is the nation’s largest gaming company with annual turnover of around $3.46 billion. Over the last decade it has faced particular challenges from non-Swedish online operators offering Swedish-language services over the Internet. Svenska Spel defends its status as a monopoly by stating that it gives a large proportion of its profits to sports organisations throughout the nation while also working hard to prevent players from developing gambling addictions. However, critics have discounted these by stating that the real reason for the existence of the monopoly is to bring the State more money.

The public commission has recommended that other companies be allowed to offer online sportsbetting services in Sweden but stated that foreign betting sites should be required to meet strict criteria.

However, the Consultation stated that Svenska Spel should keep its monopolies for Internet poker and online casino games because these are considered particularly dangerous for people with gambling problems.
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