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Gaming firm calls Svenska Spel's bluff

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12:16 CEST+02:00
Gaming company Betsson plans to open its first outlet in Sweden at the end of May with the express purpose of challenging the Swedish gaming monopoly.

And the head lawyer with Sweden's Gaming Board promises that one of the agency's inspectors will pay a visit on opening day.

According to a statement from Betsson, the shop will open on May 30th on Götgatan in Stockholm.

“The European Court of Justice gives us support for this venture. There is no longer a reason for us to wait for a political process which is barely moving forward. We want to drive the development of the gaming market forward for the benefit of players. I'm convinced that the monopoly's gaming outlets are in for some tough competition ahead,” said Betsson CEO Pontus Lindwall.

The Gaming Board's lead attorney Johan Röhr doesn't share the same perspective on the current legal framework.

“Nothing has happened and this is a judgment Betsson has made completely on its own. We will send an inspector and see what it is they've put up. Then we'll see what we will do,” he told the TT news agency.

If the shop opens it will be the clearest challenge so far to Svenska Spel's and ATG's monopoly in Sweden.

“We can't do terribly much ourselves. We'll see if we file a report with the police and we can also order them to cease operations or face fines,” said Röhr.

Betsson CEO Lindwall feels however that the authorities ought to reconsider.

“I believe that there are risks for the authorities if they don't allow this. Our judgment of the legal framework is that we can have this store and if they try to stop us on erroneous grounds, we're going to ask for compensation at a later time,” he said.

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