The European Commission has today taken two separate decisions to refer Sweden to the Court of Justice of the EU in relation to Swedish legislation for gambling services.
In November 2013 the Commission asked Sweden to take action to ensure compliance of its national rules with EU law in the areas of online betting services and online poker services (IP 13/1101). The Commission does not consider the Swedish reactions to these requests as satisfactory.
Consequently, Sweden is referred to the Court of Justice for imposing restrictions on the organisation and promotion of online betting services in a way which is inconsistent with EU law. The Commission considers that the way that the Swedish exclusive right system for sport betting is organised is inconsistent with the aim of achieving the public policy objectives of preventing problem gambling and criminal activities and lacks the necessary state control. Changes to the Swedish gambling law in order to make it compliant with EU law have long been envisaged but never implemented.
In the second case, the referral to the Court of Justice is based on restrictions on the provision and promotion of online poker games. The Commission is of the opinion that the exclusive right holder is not subject to adequate control by the Swedish authorities and that the restrictive policy in the area of poker games is not consistent as the Swedish authorities tolerate the unauthorised offer and promotion of poker games.
For further information: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1150_en.htm