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Has the Commercial Returned to Svenska Spel?

11 July 2008

The appointment of Margareta Winberg as chair of Svenska Spel signaled a new phase for the company, one in which it would focus more on social responsibility and less on product expansion and advertising. Judging by Ms. Winberg's interview with Radio Sweden Thursday, however, it appears expansion is still in the cards.

"We are still a company that is supposed to earn money, however with certain responsibilities," she said. "In the absence of any verdict from the European Court of Justice, I believe this to be a legitimate aim for Svenska Spel to have."

The comments come two weeks after Charlie McCreevy, the European market and services commissioner, offered no news about the status of complaints against Sweden and Denmark.

Observers had expected the commission to send the cases to the final-stage complaint of the process, a hearing before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Some suspect politicking may be responsible for the delay.

"I am seriously concerned that what would appear to be political maneuverings are trying to slow down the commission's pace and kick the issue into the long grass," John Whittaker, managing director of Stanleybet International, told Reuters. Ms. Winberg's April appointment at Svenska Spel prompted the resignation of Jesper Kärrbrink, the company's former chief executive, who said in a prepared statement: "It has become clear to lately that my ideas about how Svenska Spel should be run don't agree with the image held by the owner."

Mathias Hedlund, director of the online and retail betting division, and Annica Axelsson, director of the bingo, casino and restaurant division also left the company shortly afterward, citing similar reasons.

Sweden and Denmark are just two of 10 member states against whom the commission has begun proceedings.

The commission's next round of decisions on legal proceedings is slated for September. A spokesperson for Mr. McCreevy's office told Reuters that cross-border gambling disputes remain a priority.

Has the Commercial Returned to Svenska Spel? is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Bradley Vallerius

Bradley P. Vallerius, JD manages For the Bettor Good, a comprehensive resource for information related to Internet gaming policy in the U.S. federal and state governments. For the Bettor Good provides official government documents, jurisdiction updates, policy analysis, and many other helpful research materials.

Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world.

Bradley Vallerius Websites:

www.FortheBettorGood.com
Bradley Vallerius
Bradley P. Vallerius, JD manages For the Bettor Good, a comprehensive resource for information related to Internet gaming policy in the U.S. federal and state governments. For the Bettor Good provides official government documents, jurisdiction updates, policy analysis, and many other helpful research materials.

Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world.

Bradley Vallerius Websites:

www.FortheBettorGood.com