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Swedish court rejects offshore linking challenge

Sweden’s Linköping Adminstrative Court has rejected an appeal brought by twelve domain holders challenging injunctions served by the gambling authority Lotteriinspektionen.

The appeal revolved around the gambling authority’s decision to ban Swedish domains providing links to offshore lotteries.  In May 2018, Lotterinspectionen served injunctions against 39 internet domain owners ordering they cease promoting participation in offshore lotteries.

The Court upheld Lotteriinspektionen’s action finding that its actions were in accordance with the Constitution and did not violate European Union law.

The twelve domain holders who lost the appeal were: Sörmlands Media AB, Norrköpings Tidning Media AB, Svenska Dagbladet AB, Skellefteå AIK Hockey, Norra Västerbotten Newspaper Company, Stampen Local Media AB, Herenco I.T. AB, Hall Media AB, Norrköping Tidning's Limited Company, Östgöta Media AB, AB Laholms Tidning, MittMedia AB

Third quarter market results released by the inspectorate showed annual growth in the Swedish gambling market of 1.2 percent, driven primarily by unlicensed operators according to figures supplied by H2 Gambling Capital.

Swedish licensed operators reported gross gaming revenue of SEK 12.2 billion, down 2.4 percent, while unlicensed operators held a 27 percent market share with gross gaming revenues reaching SEK 4.5 billion, up 12.4 percent.

Overall, online gambling grew 12.9 percent while land-based gambling declined 8.4 percent. Online growth was boosted by 13.6 percent and 11.9 percent growth in online sports betting and casino respectively.

A similar trend was reported by major operators.   Svenska Spel reported gross gaming revenue of SEK 6.4 billion, down 1.6 percent. Land-based gambling fell 9.4 percent while online gambling increased 22.5 percent.

Another prominent operator ATG reported gross gaming revenue of SEK 3.1 billion, down 0.4 percent. Land-based gambling decreased by 10.0 percent while online gambling increased by 6.7 percent.

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