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Online Gambling News From Scandinavia

By: Ryan Alders, Friday January 4th 2013
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The Scandinavian countries of Denmark and Sweden have been in the news this week for their policies and actions with respect to online gambling. Denmark had set up a regulated online gambling regime about a year ago and had issued licenses valid for an initial period of one year. After evaluating the performances over this period, the Danish Gambling Authority has extended the validity period of its first tranche of online gambling licenses to five years. This move covers 5 local and 20 foreign online gambling operators. The Danish Gambling Authority has brought some more parties into its fold by issuing restricted licenses to 9 smaller operators. These operators can offer online gambling services such that their gross gambling revenue income is restricted to a maximum of Danish kroner 1 million, which works out to just over £100,000.

Tina R. Olsen, head of the Legal Division at the Danish Gambling Authority, said that illegal and unlicensed online gambling in Denmark is under control. Some operators were compelled to leave the jurisdiction and about 20 of those who refused to do so had their web sites blocked by Internet Service Providers. Olsen said, “The Danish Gambling Authority performs its obligation to monitor the Danish gambling market in order to protect both consumers and the legal operators on the market.”

The Swedish government released a statement that it would bring in legislation to regulate and license online gambling, in this year itself. Some of the Scandinavian countries already offer legalized and regulated online gambling and this has prompted Sweden to follow suit. A study was undertaken last year by the National Audit Office which has recommended this course of action and the government has accepted the recommendations. The statement was signed by the prime minister and the finance minister, and this indicates the seriousness on the part of the government.

The government however realizes that legislative changes would be required before this intent can be given effect and the complete proposal for a regulatory system would be introduced to Parliament for discussion. The statement also pointed out that the government was especially aware of the need to protect citizens from unlicensed offshore operators and from the dangers of underage and problem gambling. The new regulatory system would take care of these issues and incorporate enforcement methodologies. The government is committed to a mid-year deadline for the proposal, and implementation by 2014.

In another online gambling news item from Sweden, the Swedish Tax Agency has imposed additional taxes on the online gambling software developer Net Entertainment. The company has appealed against the ruling, claiming the decision is unfounded. The amount involved is approximately 92.1 million Swedish Kroner.

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