Svenska Spel Could Face Sale if Opposition Party Wins Sweden’s Elections
The right-of-centre Moderaterna Party plans to sell off Sweden’s state-controlled gambling operator Svenska Spel if it wins the country’s general election in September. It has submitted a provisional mandate to Sweden’s national legislature, the Riksdag, proposing the division and sale of the company.
The party, which has formed a four-party right-wing alliance to contest the elections on September 9, announced the move as part of its plans to overhaul Sweden’s gambling legislation, currently governed by the 2019 Gambling Act. Other changes would include constitutional provisions to require the government to obtain approval from the legislature to change gambling laws in the future “due to abuse of power during the past term of office”.
The party would also scrap Sweden’s restrictions on bonuses and would undo the current government’s recent decision to subject gambling marketing to “adjusted moderation”, which it believes is an attempt to introduce risk classification “via the back door”.
It said that “there is a risk of further eroding the regulated market if operators who have redeemed a licence pay Swedish tax and maintain a high level of consumer protection do not have the opportunity to market their products to a greater extent.
“In addition, we believe it is too early to implement changes in the field of marketing as practice has just been established, which with the government’s proposal would no longer be valid.”
The online gaming operator association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) welcomed the announcement, saying that it was not appropriate for the state to run a commercial gambling business.
Gustaf Hoffsted, Secretary General of BOS, said: “With this statement from the Moderaterna party I welcome the fact that the two largest parties in opposition have now made clear their intention to privatise the competitive part of state operator Svenska Spel, if they form or support a new government after the September general elections in Sweden.”