Online Gambling Laws in Sweden under ECJ Investigations

The European Court of Justice or ECJ is subjecting the online gambling laws of Sweden to scrutiny. The decision came after the European Commission confirmed that the country failed compliance with the legislation and practices for European businesses. EC reiterated that the gambling authorities and government of Sweden must look into their position and be clear about it especially regarding the regulation of Internet gambling industry. In the present, the state-owned gaming operator, Svenska Spel, is the exclusive provider of Internet gaming services in the country. Due to this monopoly of rights, EC officially stated that the Swedish government has breached the rules and regulations applied on all European businesses. This is in regard to the restriction of monopoly as well as the limitation of the free movement of services and goods within the European Union.

Internet gaming in Sweden is one of the sectors generating the most revenues for the government since its operation took place. The likes of casino classics such as online blackjack, video slots, baccarat, roulette, and many other table and card games are made accessible in the Swedish gaming industry. According to sources such as, Ardalan Shekarabi, Minister of Public Administration in Sweden, responded to the claims of the European Commission saying that the government has intent to expedite the implementation of Internet gaming regulations. Shekarabi reiterated that the country is also working to implement the new licensing system and Internet gaming framework in compliance with the law.

The European Commission on the other hand received commendation because of this move according to the European Betting and Gaming Association. The association which is a representative of all privately owned gaming and Internet betting operators likewise referred to it as a breakthrough decision. According to Maarten Haijer, EGBA Secretary General, the move to investigate the Swedish Internet gambling law is a breakthrough showing the commitment of EC is to uphold fundamental freedoms in the European territories. In November 2013, EC has declared its move to investigate Internet gaming license procedures in countries such as Czech Republic, Belgium, Romania, and Poland for compliance with regulatory conditions and business market.

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