Europe’s paper tiger is baring its teeth.
The European Commission (EC) is taking Sweden to the European Court of Justice in 2 separate cases involving that country’s online gambling laws.
The EC first asked Sweden to change it’s protectionist online gambling laws back in 2007. In November 2013 they warned that nothing had been done. Finally they’ve decided enough is enough.
Presently Swedish law sanctions the local monopoly online betting operation Svenska Spel, while prohibiting other EU operators from advertising or offering their services to Swedish players. The EC has long maintained that this approach falls foul of the EU’s free movement of services provisions.
An EC statement on the matter read:
“Sweden is referred to the Court of Justice for imposing restrictions on the organisation and promotion of online betting services in a way which is inconsistent with EU law. Changes to the Swedish gambling law in order to make it compliant with EU law have long been envisaged but never implemented.”
Like a naughty child being admonished for not having done their homework yet, the Swedish government have responded saying they did intent to, “speed up the work that has been carried out for a long time in order to find a licensing system that could be introduced in Sweden“.
The EGBA are hailing the development as, “the first time Brussels was taking a member state to court over its gambling laws”.
The paper tiger may become the muscles from Brussels yet!
You can read some background to Swedish online gambling rules and live casinos for Swedish players here.