Kindred Group suggests ‘entity split’ for Svenska Spel

Kindred Group suggests ‘entity split’ for Svenska Spel

Thursday, April 12, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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The online gambling group has sought clarity on Svenska Spel’s position

Kindred Group has asked the Swedish government to clarify the position of state-owned Svenska Spel within its newly regulated gambling marketplace.

Earlier this month, the Swedish government published long-awaited updated provisions for its revamped National Gambling framework. In 2019, the country will open its online gambling market to licensed enterprises, with Kindred stating its full commitment to joining Sweden’s new regime.

Nevertheless, Kindred has highlighted its concerns relating to Svenska Spel’s ability to operate within Sweden’s ‘open online gambling marketplace’, whilst maintaining its control of state gambling services for land-based provisions (casino/betting points) and gaming machines.

Peter Alling, Group Head of Public Affairs at Kindred Plc, said: “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.”

As the Swedish government moves to open its initial licensing window in August, Kindred has sought clarity on Svenska Spel’s potential market influence or advantages, highlighting concerns shared by a number of policy and industry stakeholders who question the wisdom of operating a state-owned enterprise within the open and newly regulated marketplace.  

“Since Svenska Spel is to act on both the exclusive and the competitive market, it is from a competition law point of view extremely important that Svenska Spel is split into two independent entities,” continued Alling. “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 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.”

Totally Gaming says: Kindred is quite within its rights to express concern over the make-up of the reformed Swedish market, in which the gambling sector will be split into three compartments. Svenska Spel will retain control of state services, while there will be a non-profit section for charitable firms and a competitive market for licensed online operators.

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