Ardalan Shekarabi risks sinking the entire licensing system. Under the false pretence of protecting players during the coronavirus pandemic, the Swedish government has proposed temporary legislation intended to strengthen the market position of the state-controlled operators Svenska Spel and ATG whilst weakening the position of online casino operators. In my opinion the proposal is a devastating blow to licensed casino operators. The proposal is questionable from a legal standpoint and is likely to cause detriment to the licensing system as a whole, generating issues of legitimacy for the entire regulated market in Sweden. Apart from being characteristic of the politics of an autocratic banana republic, this proposal shamelessly advances the commercial interests of the political class itself. Further, it violates Swedish and EU competition law. The unsubstantiated and flawed justificatory basis accompanying the proposal moreover violates the freedom to provide services granted under Article 56 of the EU-treaty. The regulation is also likely to fall foul of the notification requirement imposed by EU Law.
The debate article
is published in EGR
27 May 2020 and in Dagens Industri
18 June 2020.