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Breaking of state-monopoly in Sweden recommended

December 17, 2008 2008

A public commission in Sweden has suggested that the monopoly should be broken up, at least partially.

A local media report, highlighting that Sweden’s state-monopoly on providing betting has been criticised by the European Commission for violating the EU competition regulations, has shared that the commission proposes that companies other than Svenska Spel shall get the right to offer sport betting in Sweden.

They also say that foreign betting sites on the Internet which do not fulfill the criteria to operate in Sweden shall be blocked.

According to stockholmnews.com, the commission wants the monopoly to remain on Internet poker and casino since these are considered particularly dangerous for people with gambling problems.

“Svenska Spel brings in large amounts of money to the Swedish state every year. A big part of its profit also goes to the sports movement. But the most common defense for the monopoly is that Svenska Spel is suppose to take more responsibility for people with gambling problems than the private companies. Critics say however that this is just an excuse and that the real purpose is to get more money for the state,” reported the publication.

Meanwhile, another report has indicated that an official study of Swedish gambling legislation has recommended the introduction of a licencing system that would divide gambling offers on the basis of their risk to players, and proposes that Svenska Spel be allowed to maintain its monopoly over land-based casinos, lotteries and online poker. But with the changes not scheduled to take effect for a further two years, observers question whether the proposals will be enough to placate the European Commission in Brussels.

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