t issue was whether Ladbrokes had been authorised to use the phrase “Swedish games with English odds” in an advertising campaign with Svenska Spel claiming that only it had the right to use the words “Swedish” and “games” for marketing purposes in the Scandinavian nation.
However, the Court ruled in favour of Ladbrokes and also warned Svenska Spel that it could face a fine of up to us$ 110,000 if it used phrases such as “Svenska Spel is a world leader in responsible gaming” or “the most effective age verification online” in its marketing campaigns in the future.
“This case means that Swedish monopolies cannot extend their power to monopolise language,” said Christopher Bell, Chief Executive Officer for Ladbrokes. “We will continue to highlight the consumer benefits of a competitive market in betting and gaming in contrast to disproportionate state monopoly laws and actions that restrict competition and choice.”
Ladbrokes has also won an almost identical case brought against it last year by the Danska Spil monopoly over the same advertising campaign. Danska Spil alleged that only it had the right to use the ‘Dansk’ and ‘spil’ word combination in advertising and marketing but Copenhagen’s Maritime And Commercial Court disagreed and also refused a request from the monopoly for compensation.
The two rulings mean that online operators such as Ladbrokes are free to market their products in opposition to the State monopolies in Sweden and Denmark.
However, Danska Spil is understood to be considering an appeal while Ladbrokes recently dropped a similar action against Norway’s Norsk Tipping monopoly after five years. Ladbrokes changed it mind after the European Court Of Justice ruled in favour of Portugal’s Santa Casa De Misericordia De Lisboa sportsbetting monopoly and against leading online betting and gaming provider Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG.