• Sweden edition
 

Christian Democrats mull betting u-turn

Published: 25 Apr 2011 08:35 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Apr 2011 08:35 GMT+02:00

In a clear change in policy direction, the party has decided it would consider bringing an end to the longstanding Swedish betting monopoly, according to the Sveriges Radio's Ekot news programme.

Foreign betting organisations like Ladbrokes, Unibet and others have fought for many years for the right to legally enter the Swedish market where Svenska Spel still enjoys a monopoly.

Until recently the official Christian Democrats have been staunch defenders of the tradition, arguing that it protects the individual from possible addiction. However they are now prepared to discuss changing the law, given that online gambling is now so easy and widespread.

“The most important thing for the Christian Democrats is the responsibility taken (by betting companies) for the gamblers, that they take some social responsibility. This can be lacking if you let in private operators to a market without control and who take no responsibility for those who bet with them,” said cultural policy spokesman Andreas Carlsson.

Another motivating factor would be money. If the monopoly were broken, the companies operating in the Swedish market would be forced to pay part of their income to the government, which would represent a potentially huge cash injection.

Although there are no official figures, it is thought that some some one million Swedes use foreign websites for betting, and spend several billion kronor in the process.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

09:07 April 25, 2011 by HYBRED
Svenska Spel helps protect from possible addiction?? Yeah right. Their goal is to suck every kronor they can out of anyone they can.
09:19 April 25, 2011 by Deusultima
@HYBRED:

By taxing and keeping high prices- why yes, it would make people play less, which would be their ultimate goal in the end :)

Much like Systembolaget is there to make sure people drink less and make it harder for alcoholics to get what they want. Some may say it invades on peoples' freedoms, but we live in a society where social responsibility is a necessity, and if a lot of people can't uphold the standards such institutions are in my opinion necessary.
09:41 April 25, 2011 by bocale1
@Deusultima, "Systembolaget is there to make sure people drink less"????

where did you live? on another planet?

I have never seen so many drunk people like in Sweden.

Go to any other country where you can buy alcohol anywhere, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Benelux, everywhere, and you will not see the city center invaded by hordes of drunk guys and girls every single weekend as you can see here
09:44 April 25, 2011 by HYBRED
@Deusultima

Based upon the facts in the story above, the CD's goal is to open gambling to outside business. Their only worry is "social responsibility".

Slice it anyway you want, but the CD's are promoting and condoning gambling, how Christian is that?
09:45 April 25, 2011 by Deusultima
@bocale1:

Be that as it may, Sweden is actually not very high up on the statistics regarding alcohol consumption per person and year. What happens in the Stockholm area every weekend I'm blissfully unaware of.
09:58 April 25, 2011 by HYBRED
@Deusultima

Your joking, right?
10:03 April 25, 2011 by Deusultima
@HYBRED

I am not joking. Take a look at this map brought to us by wikipedia, would you kindly?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a9/Alcohol_consumption_per_capita_world_map.PNG
10:10 April 25, 2011 by HYBRED
@Deusultima

I am aware of some statistics that came out recently about the low Swedish consumption. The numbers were based upon sales from Systembolaget. But those numbers didn't take in account what comes into the country from the cruise ships and by car.
10:17 April 25, 2011 by Deusultima
Oh? But it outspokenly measures "Unrecorded consumption". This would have to be an estimate, but Sweden does indeed have a long statistical tradition, so I'd bet it's pretty close.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_alcohol_consumption

Even with the "black market" counted in our total ends up below most continental European countries.
10:57 April 25, 2011 by technoviking
Now here's a right wing party we ALL can hate...
11:31 April 25, 2011 by HYBRED
@Deusultima

I am not referring to the black market. Anyone can legally bring back booze from another EU country for their own use.

As it makes the Swedish stats suspect, it does the same to the other countries by inflating their stats, making them look like they are drinking more than they really are.
18:17 April 25, 2011 by LeoKinmann
Deusultima,

You can make statistics say anything you like. It's how you interpret that matters.

It's true that the French notably drink more than Swedes. The French drink wine to every meal, 7 days a week. However, since they can gain alcohol easily from a local store (instead of driving 30 min to get from the shop with short opening hours), they also tend to drink more often, but in smaller amounts. If you go buy 5 bottles of wine on a Friday and plan to drink them over the next week, most of the times those bottles never survive the weekend. And yes, drinking 7 glasses of wine over 7 days is way healthier than drinking 7 glasses at once. It's the latter that gives Sweden most problems. Clearly your statistics don't show how the alcohols are consumed.
20:36 April 25, 2011 by iammucow
I think you are all missing point by getting into these statistics. Deusultima is right, one of the purposes of Systembolaget was to reduce alcohol consumption. That doesn't mean it works.
22:19 April 25, 2011 by fikatid
I agree with Deusultima. I've never seen that many drunken people on a weekend in any city that I've been to. I was in Newark waiting for my flight to Stockhom. Our gate was the only gate with several trollies full of bottles of booze purchased at the duty free by the Swedes. Systembolaget needs a big slap on their face to be waken up. They are so out of touch with reality.
21:21 April 26, 2011 by philemon
The simple fact is that the opening of European betting markets has simply served to entrench the position of the monopoly providers. This has been achieved through the introduction of tough regulatory regimes that ensure that new entrants are not actually able to make any money; re: France and Germany. Svenska Spel knows that through the opening of the Swedish market, it will actually consolidate its leadership role, whilst ensuring that the likes of Ladbrokes, Betsson et al, simply cut each others throats, whilst fighting for the crumbs from its table!
11:24 April 27, 2011 by Raiha
@Desultima,

I checked the Wikipedia list and the first thing that stood out to me is that if Sweden has a higher alcohol consumption than Australia and NZ, then you have a MASSIVE drinking problem in your society. We acknowledge it. You should too.

I would hate to see you dealing with similiar gambling problems.
Today's headlines
Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours now'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours now'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Israeli ambassador Isaac Bachman. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

UPDATED: Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador from Stockholm, after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

National
Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe
The ship was rescued on Thursday. Photo: Swedish Coast Guard

Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe

After fears a ship carrying around 52 tonnes of oil could sink in Stockholm's archipelago, Sweden's Coast Guard said the vessel had been towed to safety. READ  

National
Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal
A scene from a video of the attack published by Dagens Nyheter

Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal

A policewoman accused of letting her dog attack a drunk man while she repeatedly hit him with a baton, has had her conviction overturned by a court in Stockholm. READ  

Entertainment
What's On: October 31st - November 7th
Uma Thurman will soon be on her way to Stockholm. Photo: TT

What's On: October 31st - November 7th

Halloween fun and an international film festival are the big events hitting Stockholm this week. We cast our eye over the capital and the rest of the country for the best activities to check out this week. READ  

International
Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark
Gottrid Svartholm Warg. File photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark

Sweden's Pirate Bay Founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg was found guilty of hacking crimes in a Danish court on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

989
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN