Swedish Regulator Victorious Over Gambling Advert Bans

5-year old case upheld by Sweden’s Court of Appeal

The five year legal fight between Swedish media outlets Aftonbladet and Expressen and gambling regulator Lotteriinspektionen has finally been settled by Sweden’s Court of Appeal… and the outcome was not positive for the publications.

Taking InfoPowa readers back to 2013, the regulator fined the two publications for carrying promotional and advertising links on their websites linking to unauthorised international online gambling operators. The case ended up in a Swedish Court, which found against the publications and imposed fines, triggering the appeal which was finalised this week.

The Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s ruling, finding that the links to gambling operators were of a pronounced commercial nature which rendered the freedom of speech and expression argument irrelevant, and that the links constituted advertising. The court was also of the opinion that Sweden’s rather restrictive Gambling Act 1994 is not in conflict with European Union law.

The regulator, which has been increasingly active in warning Swedish companies against accepting international advertisements, reiterated its warning in applauding the Court of Appeal finding.