Home » 2008 » Currently Reading:

Sweden halts prosecutions of media carrying gaming advertisements

April 22, 2008 2008

The Swedish Prosecutor-General has issued a circular letter, in which Swedish prosecutors are ordered to await prosecution on illegal gaming advertising until further notice.

The landmark decision to halt the prosecution on illegal gaming advertisements is the result of a landmark decision by the Swedish Supreme Court of 6 February 2008, which stated that the editors of two Swedish newspapers are entitled to appeal criminal convictions for publishing advertisements for private betting companies. The European Commission is of the opinion that Swedish gaming law is inconsistent with EU law and two infringement procedures are ongoing. In its decision of 6 February, the Swedish Supreme Court has stated that it is unclear if the Swedish laws are valid. The Prosecutor-General subsequently stated that the outcome of the infringement proceedings by the European Commission should be awaited, and prosecutors should not initiate new proceedings against media carrying betting advertisements.

The Supreme Courts decision stated that the Court of Appeal should hear the editors’ cases and referred to recent decisions by the European Court of Justice and the Reasoned Opinion that was sent by the European Commission to Sweden regarding the monopoly on sports betting. The Court of Appeal had previously stated that there was no reason to hear the editors’ case because Swedish case-law established that the Swedish gambling policy is justifiable under EU law.

The recent developments in Sweden are good news for private remote operators, currently excluded from the racing and gaming markets. Although a definite decision is not expected soon, and the legal situation is therefore still unclear, the decision of the prosecution department to cease prosecution of betting advertisers is significant. Private operators now have the ability to extend there marketing efforts in Sweden.

However, a liberalization of the gambling market can not be expected in the near future. According to reports on www.gamblingcompliance.com(1), Ola Wiklund, partner in the Stockholm offices of Swedish law firm Wistrand, said that none of the ruling government coalition parties wants gambling to become a political issue ahead of the next general election in 2010. However, if the ruling government retains power in the election, Wiklund expects that “they will likely try to dismantle the gaming monopoly in some way, maybe with some kind of licensing system.”

Also, Wiklund suggested that the interim period will be extremely important in terms of how private betting companies position themselves in the Swedish market. He urged private operators to strike sponsorship deals with grass roots sports, as well as with more established football clubs. According to www.gamblingcompliance.com, Wiklund explicitly mentioned the trotting industry, because this is quite open for new sponsorship opportunities.

(1) James Kilsby, Private Operators Gather Momentum In Sweden, available on http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/13476


Posted by:

Legal Gaming in Europe Summit 2013 – Summary Day 1

Legal Gaming in Europe Summit 2013 Day 1 Summary Video

Video: International Gaming Law Summit 2011 Highlights

International Gaming Law Summit 2011 Highlights Video

Copyright: http://www.calvinayre.com

To get the latest news follow us on