Svenska Spel ups age limits

Swedish state-owned gambling monopoly Svenska Spel is to introduce a minimum age restriction of 18 on all its in-store games.

The European Commission has said that its view is that the gambling monopoly is about raking in money rather than protecting consumers. It backed up its argument by pointing out that 13 of 22 Svenska Spel games did not have age restrictions.

But Svenska Spel information director Andreas Jansson said that the latest move was not about protecting the monopoly.

“It has nothing to do with that,” he said.

Jansson claimed that the new age restrictions were intended to simplify things for store owners, who currently have to enforce different age restrictions on different games. Svenska Spel said that lottery tickets would not be subject to a new age restriction.

The new rules will be applied from February 2007.