Sweden to become a new America?
Most of us are familiar with what happened in the US during late 2006, when the American government enforced the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), preventing banks and credit card companies from doing transactions to and from online gambling companies. We all saw how this affected both the online gambling companies but also the players, who found it a lot harder to maintain their hobby, to play poker.
Recently the French government tried to pass a new law by the EU-commission in which the banks and credit card companies would not be able to perform transactions to and from online gambling companies who were blacklisted in the country, foreign companies, without any success. The EU-commission managed to temporary halt this new law, on grounds still being kept secret.
Now the Swedish government is looking into a similar bill in Sweden where the Swedish banks and credit card companies wouldn't be allowed to perform transactions to and from foreign online gambling companies. Both Sweden and France are very keen on keeping their gaming monopoly and are now trying to force new laws into action to preserve this monopoly, even though it's clearly in violation of the EU-commerce treaty, for open commerce within the membership countries.
With the recent intervention from the EU-commission the Swedish government might now find it even more difficult to get such a new law passed in Sweden.
Both the Swedish and French gaming monopoly has been a hot topic in the EU-commission and still is. Recently the attorney general office in Sweden announced that they no longer will prosecute foreign gambling companies who market themselves in Swedish media. They are temporally standing down on this matter until a ruling has been made in the EU-courts in regards to the Swedish monopoly and if it's legit or not according to EU-laws. This has opened the market for the companies to market themselves in Swedish media without any legal actions taken against them and already today we can see a drastic increase in this type of marketing, especially on Swedish television.
If Sweden is to become a new America, with restrictions for banks and credit card companies, towards online gambling companies, that remains to be seen. But if Sweden, as a member of EU are to follow EU's laws this won't ever happen. Just the opposite, the Swedish market would be open for foreign companies and the Swedish monopoly would be abandoned as it violates the EU treaty. For now, we just have to wait and see what the courts have to say on these matters.