Sweden Attempting to Censor Online Gambling Sites

Published Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - Online-Casinos.com
Sweden Attempting to Censor Online Gambling Sites

In 2012 Sweden's Christian Democrats, a minority party in the centre-right coalition government, stated that they would be open to making the overall gambling market more competitive. The new government said it would reform gambling legislation by 2014, opening the door to other international operators. Companies outside of the Swedish gambling monopoly Svenska Spel now hold a larger share of the online gambling market than the companies of the traditional monopoly. In response there were some changes to the existing laws but in October of 2014, the European Commission, noting that it did not consider the Swedish reactions to its requests satisfactory, referred Sweden to the Court of Justice of the EU for its lack of compliance with EU law; "The Commission considers that the way that the Swedish exclusive right system for sport betting is organised is inconsistent with the aim of achieving the public policy objectives of preventing problem gambling and criminal activities and lacks the necessary state control. Changes to the Swedish gambling law in order to make it compliant with EU law have long been envisaged but never implemented. "

Now in 2016 a leading Swedish Internet Service Provider, Bahnhof, has posted a statement explaining it had received correspondence from an investigator engaged by the government of Sweden to look at ways to “efficiently” prevent unauthorized online gambling operators from offering services to Swedish punters.

Real change to the online gambling environment in Sweden will not to be revealed to the public until March of 2017. Until that time the government is seeking to stop unauthorized offering from offshore operators. Bahnhof Chief Executive Officer Jon Karlung said his concern was the government’s attempt to censor the internet. .” Karlung maintains the Swedish government appears to “try again and again until different types of monitoring and filtering [are] run through.”

Online gambling legislation is a contentious issue in monopoly entrenched countries that are slow to change the unfair laws regarding free trade in the EU.


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