he principal poker apps affected by the request included 888poker, PokerStars, and PartyPoker. In response, Apple chose to prevent access to the poker apps for Swedish residents.
Back in 2013, the European Commission (EC) asked for Sweden to open up its market and bring it into line with EU policies. Until now, Sweden has not even taken the opportunity to explain why it was restricting access to foreign gambling operators.
After refusing to implement the recommended changes, the EC took the decision to refer Sweden to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Time will tell as to what impact the referral will have. Public administration minister Ardalan Shekarabi clearly stated in February that Sweden had no plans “to relax its gambling regulations and to throw open its market to foreign companies.”
Before receiving support from Apple, Sweden had been unable to maintain its perfect monopoly. Rather than bow to the wills of Swedish policymakers, PokerStars had been one of the operators willing to accept Swedish players. However, that has since changed, allowing for the Swedish government to strengthen its monopoly to a greater degree than ever before.