Concerns surround Svenska Spel due to new Swedish regime
Kindred Group, a Malta-based online gambling operator founded by a group of Swedish citizens, has requested further clarification from the Swedish government about the position of Svenska Spel, as per the new gambling regulations in the country.
Early this April, the Swedish government published long-awaited updated provisions for its revamped National Gambling Framework. In 2019, the country will open its online gambling market to licensed enterprises. Kindred has shown its full commitment to joining Sweden’s new regime.
Kindred has also highlighted its concerns regarding the state-owned gambling company in Sweden, Svenska Spel, and its ability to operate within Sweden’s ‘open online gambling marketplace’. This must be all the while retaining control of state gambling services for land-based provisions (casino/betting points) and gaming machines.
The Group Head of Public Affairs at Kindred Plc, Peter Alling, commented: “The government proposition to Parliament is just one part of the reform. The reform intends to keep the market divided in one-part open to competition and one part exclusive to NGOs and governmental operator Svenska Spel.”
“Since Svenska Spel is to act on both the exclusive and the competitive market, it is from a competition law point of view extremely important that Svenska Spel is split into two independent entities,” continued Alling. “The Ministry of Enterprise (owner of Svenska Spel) and the Ministry of Finance (responsible for legislation on gambling) has so far acted in opposite directions.”
“Here, the government has a responsibility it can’t avoid. Failure to deal professionally with the split, not adhering to basic competition regulations, will seriously endanger the outcome of the reform.”
As the Swedish government moves to open its initial licensing window in August, Kindred is seeking a clearer view of Svenska Spel’s potential market influence or advantages. As a result, Kindred is highlighting concerns shared by a number of policy and industry stakeholders who question the wisdom of operating a state-owned enterprise within the open and newly regulated marketplace.