Democrats Fight for Online Casino Competition in Sweden
Svenska Spel and other Swedish gambling monopolies were attacked by the Sweden’s Social Democrat party for pushing private groups out of the lucrative online casino market in Sweden. Currently, only firms with close connections to the government can operate and offer online gambling services. These are government monopolies that control the entire online casino market in the country. Only 10 percent of the market belongs to private non-government group while the monopolies hold 90 percent of the market.
The group in question, Svenska Spel, is owned by the Swedish government and operates an online casino sports book, lottery options and other gaming interests. However, the company is also supporting the private sector by saying that equal access to the market should be granted. Currently, the government is not action fast enough to resolve this issue and make the Swedish online gambling market attractive to non-commercial and commercial online casino groups alike. According to the Social Democrat Party, one of the monopolies, A-Lotterierna, is generating revenues of up to GBP 8 million and that the promised make back in the beginning of the 21st century have been abandoned.
Opening the market for commercial groups would hurt the government’s income, but would improve the service for the players. If the Swedish government is threatened by the competition, than a regulation scheme might be worked out and everybody can win. The government would still enjoy some of the revenue generated by the industry and private operators could enter the market. All in all, additional groups would make the local market bigger; they would offer new working places for the Swedish public and would benefit the Swedish economy in general. In a footnote, it’s interesting to see a Social Democrat Party fighting for privatization of government resources. Usually, we would expect seeing socialists arguing for government control over the economy.