Sunday April 05,2015 : SWEDISH GOVERNMENT RE-EXAMINES ONLINE GAMBLING ADVERTISING
Review finds a workaround on EU laws problem.
Last week a review of Swedish online gambling restrictions on advertising published its findings, providing a workaround on earlier judicial decisions that the regulations did not comply with European Union laws, mainly due to the different punitive measures imposed on international transgressors vs. locally-based offenders.
Swedish law prohibits any online gambling advertising or promotion by companies not licensed in the country, and the Ministry of Finance review suggests that the government modify its regulations to ensure that the punishments laid down for all offenders be the same.
The review has also recommended that provision be made to impose immediate fines on offenders in order to get around the problem of lengthy legal processes, which frequently take longer to finalise than the length of the promotion or advertising campaign being targeted.
The changes, if actioned by the government, should be implemented at the beginning of 2016, the review suggests.
Media companies in Sweden are seriously prejudiced by the advertising restrictions, which could cut off millions of kronor in revenues from external operators and marketing firms, and they are understandably opposed to the restrictions, raising the possibility that the government could face steep compensation claims.
There is also the argument that restricting advertising within Sweden does not necessarily stop Swedish online punters from being informed by advertising carried outside Swedish borders in today's widespread communications environment.