ne of the election promises of the Swedish alliance of middle and right-wing political parties last year was to abolish the state gambling monopoly. It now seems that this promise will be broken.
The Swedish economic journal, Veckans Affärer, has reportedly received information indicating that Svenska Spel will be allowed to maintain its monopoly, as a result of the vast amount of revenue that the company generates for the state. In the first quarter of 2007, Svenska Spel recorded a net profit of 157 million euros from revenue of 260 million euros.
Apparently the Swedish finance department is now working on a suggestion for new legislation that will open up the Swedish gambling market for private companies through a licensing system. However, the conditions are so harsh that it seems unlikely that any gaming operator would be interested in actually entering the Swedish market under such a licensing system.
Along with the new legislation, it is expected that the government will force Svenska Spel to substantially reduce their marketing activities and restrict development of new games as well as new technical solutions in an attempt to comply with the opinion of the European Commission.
Today marks the end of the two month deadline imposed by the European Commission on March 21st 2007, for Denmark, Finland and Hungary to modify their legislation or face referral to the European Court of Justice.