Stockholm-listed Kindred Group Plc has detailed its concerns related to Svenska Spel’s potential influence on the future dynamics of a newly regulated Swedish gambling market.
Last week the Swedish government published the updated provisions for its long-awaited revamped national gambling framework.
In its update the Swedish government will split the gambling sector into three business compartments;
- Open/Competitive – For new licensed online gambling/betting operators.
- Public interest – Charitable firms servicing lottery and bingo products.
- State Enterprise – Operating land-based casinos and gaming machines.
Updating stakeholders, Kindred governance has asked the Swedish government to offer clarity on Svenska Spel’s future position within a newly regulated market context.
Issuing a statement, Kindred Group Head of Public Affairs Nordics, Peter Alling commented;
“The government proposition to Parliament is just one part of the reform. The reform intends to keep the market divided in one-part open to competition and one part exclusive to NGOs and governmental operator Svenska Spel.”
“Since the current entity, Svenska Spel is to act on both the exclusive and the competitive market it is from a competition law pov extremely important that Svenska Spel is split into two independent entities. The Ministry of Enterprise (owner of Svenska Spel) and the Ministry of Finance (responsible for legislation on gambling) has so far acted in opposite directions. Here, the government still has a responsibility it can’t avoid. Failure to deal professionally with the split, not adhering to basic competition regulations, will seriously endanger the outcome of the reform.
“The proposal to the Parliament, made public Monday 9 April, reveals though that the government has no intention to take necessary actions to ensure a fair and competitive market, but instead to protect the dominant position of the state-owned operator Svenska Spel.”
Further to the update, Kindred governance has stated that it is pleased with the Swedish government’s emphasis on leading sector social responsibility and consumer protection standards. The betting group welcomes Swedish provisions for player self-exclusion programmes and full-clarity on customer marketing and promotional standards.