Stockholm-listed Kindred Group has lodged its concerns relating to the state-owned Swedish company Svenska Spel’s position in the newly regulated Swedish gambling market.
Kindred said it was pleased with the Swedish government’s focus on social responsibility and consumer protection standards and welcomed the proposed self-exclusion programmes but has asked the Swedish government to clarify Svenska Spel’s future position in the newly regulated market context.
Kindred Group Head of Public Affairs Nordics, Peter Alling stated: “The government proposition to Parliament is just one part of the reform. The reform intends to keep the market divided in one-part open to competition and one part exclusive to NGOs and governmental operator Svenska Spel.”
“Since the current entity, Svenska Spel is to act on both the exclusive and the competitive market it is from a competition law pov extremely important that Svenska Spel is split into two independent entities. The Ministry of Enterprise (owner of Svenska Spel) and the Ministry of Finance (responsible for legislation on gambling) has so far acted in opposite directions. Here, the government still has a responsibility it can’t avoid. Failure to deal professionally with the split, not adhering to basic competition regulations, will seriously endanger the outcome of the reform.
“The proposal to the Parliament, made public Monday 9 April, reveals though that the government has no intention to take necessary actions to ensure a fair and competitive market, but instead to protect the dominant position of the state-owned operator Svenska Spel,” he added.