Sweden is cracking down on “tax cheats” and their primary focus will be online poker players, online poker affiliates and online poker operators, not to mention other online gambling related activities. Sweden is a hot bed in the online gambling industry, playing host to some of the leading software providers and poker networks including the national state owned Svenka Spel.
Meanwhile, The European Commission has launched investigations into German and Swedish prohibitions on internet gambling. The Commission has requested further information from the countries over concerns that they restrict free trade.
The Commission was founded on the principle that EU member states should be able to trade on equal footing with one another. Some countries in the EU, though, increasingly restrict online gambling in order to protect state-run lottery and gambling monopolies.
Germany introduced a new treaty banning online gaming and betting except horse racing related wagers in January of this year. That law replaced one that was already the subject of Commission enquiries.
The Commission said that Online Casino Singapore was querying whether the law was consistent with its laws on internal markets. The restrictions it wants to investigate are: “the total prohibition of games of chance on the internet; notably sports betting … advertising restrictions on TV, on the internet or on jerseys or billboards; and the prohibition on financial institutions to process and execute payments relating to unauthorised games of chance”.
The Commission said that the German stance was not an overall anti-betting one. “It should be noted that in Germany horse race betting on the internet is not prohibited and slot machines have been widely expanded. Moreover, advertising of games of chance by mail, in the press and on radio is still permitted,” it said.
The Commission has said that in Sweden’s case it cannot allow betting in physical casinos or online in a state monopoly and at the same time bar foreign operators from offering online gambling.
The Commission is conducting an enquiry into whether Sweden’s rules on poker games and tournaments are consistent with EU laws on free trade. The country has two months in which to respond to the request for information.