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Svenske Spel puts development plans on hold

Discussion in 'Online Casinos' started by jetset, Sep 7, 2007.

    Sep 7, 2007
  1. jetset

    jetset RIP Brian CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service

    Swedish gambling monopoly withdraws online casino license application

    Sweden's state-owned gambling monopoly, Svenske Spel appears to have shelved plans for an expansion into online casino operations, at least for now. The organisation has withdrawn an application for a license for an online casino and has halted development of new gambling products.

    Svenske Spel and the Swedish government have been at the centre of a growing European Commission row recently due to its exclusionary policies against other EU nations entering its lucrative gambling sector.

    Last month the government rejected EC approaches on its lack of compliance with EU free movement of trade and services priniciples (see previous InfoPowa reports) EC commissioner for internal markets Charlie McCreevy appeared unimpressed with the Swedish argument that its monopolistic policies better protected players and are therefore justified. As a consequence, the Swedes could find themselves in the dock at the European Court of Justice.

    Such an appearance could take years to arrange, and there is speculation that the Swedes may be playing for time but could ultimately capitulate. In the meantime Svenska Spel can continue to operate as the dominant online gambling operator in the region.

    By halting its expansion plans Svenska Spel could be trying to demonstrate that the government's motivation for the monopoly is to curb gambling addiction. However, putting a moratorium on development in a world where operational technology moves so quickly could have its own perils.

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