Sweden may open door to foreign gambling operators

The government commission examining gambling in Sweden wants to allow foreign gaming companies to operate in the country.

The companies would pay for a licence to arrange betting on sports such as football, ice hockey, as well as harness racing.

However, it would be a punishable offence to allow people under 18 to place bets, said commission head Jan Nyrén, citing harness racing and Oddset-brand sports betting sheets, reports Sveriges Radio.

Nyrén added that the commission has not yet formulated a proposal for internet poker and other online gaming.

Nor has he determined exactly how the gaming licences would look.

In order to continue generating income from its own gaming operations, the state must be able to stop foreign companies from operating their own online gaming operations.

It’s a sensitive issue which may involve blocking IP-addresses and payments to unlicenced companies.

The proposal also calls for restricting licenced companies from operating casinos or setting up gaming machines.

Nyrén considers such machines as problematic and therefore wants to maintain tighter state control over them.

As a way to keep the new gaming landscape in order, Nyrén suggests launching a new and more pointed monitoring agency, as well as tougher rules governing marketing practices.

Tobacco shops and other gaming outlets should not start to look like amusement parks, he said.

The gaming commission plans to submit its final proposal to the government in December.