As December drew to a close, there was much cause for celebration across the world of online bingo in general, but little bonhomie among the Swedish sites after a report by the Swedish National Gambling Consultation condemned their state's monopoly of the game as illegal.
The Swedish Government has been recommended to extend their online gaming legislation to other operators in order to comply with EU laws concerning free competition as a result of the report.
Block on IPs
The EU legislation allows for any country within the EU to ban online gaming in any form. However, where this ban is only put in place to protect the interests of the country’s own businesses the free market is being impeded upon.
This is true of the national bingo sites monopoly in Sweden and as a result the report has suggested that until this grip over the game is loosened that Swedish players should be blocked from playing on all international online bingo sites such as those hosted by companies from the UK.
Ladbrokes want to be in the running
As players of Ladbrokes bingo may already be aware, this top online gamer has posted an official statement on its site condemning this monopoly by the Swedes. Stating that the existing system in Sweden is 'protectionist and anti-competitive'', Ladbrokes goes on to say that all international gaming operators want is the ability to compete on a level playing field.
John O'Reilly the managing director of Ladbrokes has spoken out in direct response to the report’s recommendation that Svenska Spel should retain its monopoly on horse betting. He has said of the report that it was a "last ditch attempt to avoid referral of the country's betting and gaming laws to the European Court of Justice"