Recently the European Union pressed ahead with a lawsuit against Sweden’s online gambling policy. This is the first country to receive a lawsuit from the European Union for this reason. Not only is this a big deal for Sweden, but it could also potentially cause ramifications for any other European Union countries that hold a monopoly on online gambling.
Sweden operates and facilitates gambling as a legalized monopoly. According to Pokersites, “While technically online gaming is legal, there is only one licensed operator, Svenska Spel, a state-owned company. Meanwhile, the promotion of unlicensed gambling operators is a criminal offense, despite the existence of many Swedish-owned online gambling companies such as Unibet and Bettson.”
Sweden not only has companies that aren’t sanctioned to operate gambling in their country, but many Swedes are also looking to off shore gambling.
Sweden has always claimed that by forcing its citizens to gamble on Svenska Spel, it is able to monitor and control problem gambling and protect the vulnerable, but the reality is that many Swedes gamble with offshore companies.
With these two inconsistencies alone, the EU issued a request in 2007 for Sweden to amend their gaming legislation. When no change occurred, a second request was made in 2013. When that went ignored, the EU had no choice but to take action.