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Swedish Minister for Finance asked about plans to divest Svenska Spel Sport & Casino

The Swedish state-backed operator currently offers a range of sports betting and casino games, and has held a monopoly on the market for several years.

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Jonas Andersson, a Member of the Swedish Democrats, has formally requested an answer from the Minister of Finance, Elisabeth Svetesson, on whether she plans to divest Svenska Spel Sport & Casino.

Svenska Spel AB is a state-owned gambling company that operates in Sweden, with two major business divisions.

While Svenska Spel AB is responsible for organising sports and traditional number lotteries, it also controls a network of casinos through its subsidiary, Casino Cosmopol.

Andersson argues: “For several years, the Sweden Democrats have been moving in the Riksdag for the state to cease being a player in the competitive gaming market and instead divest the part of Svenska Spel that operates there.

“As a reason for this, we have argued that it is not reasonable for the state to play dual roles that could jeopardise credibility by both regulating and supervising the gambling market and being a participating player in the same market.”

Currently, all of the profits from Svenska Spel are paid directly to the State Treasury of Sweden.

However, in 2019, a new law was introduced that was intended to end the monopoly of Svenska Spel, by opening the market to private operators for the first time.

Gustaf Hoffstedt, Secretary General of The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS), said: “BOS supports the view that the state should not act as a commercial actor in the competitive gambling market.

“We hope that this initiative can contribute to a successful privatization of Svenska Spel Sport & Casino during the incumbent government’s remaining three years in power.”

This isn’t the only time that Svenska Spel has attracted the attention of Swedish authorities recently, as it was found guilty of violating advertising laws earlier this year too.

Not only that, but the exclusive Social Democrat lottery which has been running since 1947, A-Lotterierna, has been under a lot of fire in local media recently.

In his written request, Andersson wrote: “In view of this, I would like to ask Minister for Finance Elisabeth Svantesson:

“Does the Minister intend to take any initiatives to divest the competitive part of Svenska Spel AB?”

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