European Union suing Sweden over Exclusionary Online Gambling Laws

posted in news

The European Union has started the process to sue Sweden over their online gambling laws, which are said to prevent the free movement of services. Here’s a look at what the EU wrote in court documents:

Sweden is referred to the Court of Justice for imposing restrictions on the organization and promotion of online betting services in a way which is inconsistent with EU law,” the Commission said in a statement. Changes to the Swedish gambling law in order to make it compliant with EU law have long been envisaged but never implemented.

The EU’s main problem with Sweden’s online gambling laws is that they only give licenses to state-run and domestic companies. And this is where the complaint about Sweden preventing free movement of services comes from.

The 28 EU members are allowed to impose some restrictions on foreign gaming operators to prevent addiction and money laundering. However, completely shutting out foreign operators in a regulated gaming market is seen as anti-competitive.

EU officials have been warning Sweden about their online gambling laws since 2007. After Sweden’s failure to comply, they were again warned in 2013 – choosing to ignore EU requests once again. Now the country is facing two different lawsuits over the matter.

The first case alleges that Sweden failed to provide a “systematic” licensing system and supervise the commercial activities of their state-run operation. The second case revolves around Sweden’s unauthorized promotion and offer of internet poker games.

One group that’s happy about the lawsuit is the European Gaming and Betting Association. They have called the lawsuit a “breakthrough decision” since it’s the first time that an EU state has been taken to court over their online gambling laws. And it could open the door for further such actions in the future.

Comments are closed.