Shortly after reporting on the Swedish government’s abandonment of plans to develop a state-run online casino in the face of growing pressure from the European Union, the Lotteriinspektionen (Sweden’s Gambling Board) has placed demands on Redbet Limited to provide information from their books regarding business activities, assets and and employees. Following similar demands made on 24hPoker, the Lotteriinspektionen is apparently under the belief that Redbet is undertaking illegal activities according to Swedish law.
According to these laws, the Swedish Gaming Board has the power to demand and collect information from online gambling businesses that are thought to be undertaking illegal business on Swedish soil. Whether or not the amount of business is deemed ample enough for imposing large fines is contingent upon the findings of the investigation. Similarly, investigations regarding tax evasion have also been undertaken.
If Rebet Limited does not meet the demands of Lotteriinspektionen – meaning they refuse to supply the information being demanded from them – Swedish law says they have the power to impose fines. Even the promotion of online casinos and betting sites to Swedish citizens can warrant probes and steep fines. A harsh law to say the least, critics say that Sweden is simply trying to protect their monopolistic gambling regime, Svenske Spel from outside competition.
Following Sweden’s latest online gambling probe on Redbet, the mystery surrounding their recent decision to pull plans for developing their own online casino is now clear. However, in the eyes of the European Union, there is no justification for Sweden’s probes. Despite claims they are protecting Swedish citizens from gambling addictions and keeping organized crime and fraud in check, the EU sees Sweden’s actions as a direct violation of the General Agreement of Trade and Services.