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Swedish igaming operators question government stance on Svenska Spel online casino

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An online gambling trade body says a state-owned company should not be competing in the igaming market.

Sweden.- The online gambling operator trade association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) has reiterated its stance against the presence of state-owned Svenska Spel in Sweden’s igaming market. BOS secretary general Gustaf Hoffstedt expressed the body’s position in an op-ed published by the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Hoffstedt highlighted the government’s recent proposal to close Svenka Spel’s land-based casino business, Casino Cosmopol. He noted that in comments on this matter, financial markets minister Niklas Wykman had suggested that a state company should not be operating casinos and suggested that the same applies to online gambling. However, Svenska Spel is currently launching the online casino Momang.

He suggested that beyond the issue of Casino Comospol’s lack of profitability and need for subsidies, the government needed to ask “the principled question of the inappropriateness of state casino operations” including online gambling. He reiterated BOS’s view that Svenska Spel’s online gambling offering breaches the 2018 Gambling Act.

Hoffstedt wrote: “Against this background, it seems strange that Casino Cosmopol’s owner, government-owned Svenska Spel, is aggressively launching its new online casino, Momang.”

He added: “If the government and minister truly believe in the inappropriateness of running state-owned casinos, they must logically apply the same conclusion to the government’s own online casinos. Otherwise, dismantling Casino Cosmopol may seem like a ploy to score cheap political points on a necessary measure (since Casino Cosmopol is loss-making), while Minister Wykman is apparently unwilling to face the consequences of his own principles regarding state casinos.”

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