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Emily D. Swoboda

Ministry Report: 'Status Quo' Continues in Sweden

15 December 2008

The Swedish Ministry of Finance today released its much-anticipated report on the future regulatory framework for online gaming in Sweden, but it was little more than a reiteration of its already established gaming model, according to Boss Media A.B.'s general counsel.

“The report itself does not solve any of the many problems with the current situation," Martin Thorvaldsson told IGamingNews via e-mail today. “Instead, it asks these to be delegated to a new powerful gaming authority. None of the interested parties seems to be happy with it, and I think it, therefore, is likely that the status quo will continue for yet some time."

Sweden's long-held gaming monopoly has been challenged in recent years by commercial gaming operators who feel the country's views are protectionist and are in violation of European Community laws. Thus, the country has been under investigation by the European Commission since April 2006 for its national legislation, which restricts residents' access to certain gambling services.

The anticipated proposal envisioned a somewhat looser regulatory environment whereby foreign companies could gain a license for betting on sports such as football, ice hockey and harness racing.

Even so, Mr. Thorvaldsson said today's proposal will most likely not lead to any legislative reform. If it does, a proposal would likely not be ready until the time of the next general election in 2010.

"It does, however, fulfill the purpose of showing the European Commission that the government is doing something on this issue whereby any direct action from them can be avoided for yet another couple of years," he added.

IGN is seeking a translation of the report, which is currently only available in Swedish, along with more analysis to come as information becomes available.

Click here to view the report.

Ministry Report: 'Status Quo' Continues in Sweden is republished from
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda