Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary-general of Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), asked whether the Swedish state is giving preferential treatment to Government-owned Casino Cosmopol. It was in a recent article previewing his upcoming Gambling Insider magazine column.
Anders Sims, head of communications at Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen, denied the claim in an exclusive discussion with Gambling Insider. In the first instance, the SGA believes that media coverage of the issue in Sweden has been “one-sided.”
“As far as we can tell, despite providing the journalist at Svenska Dagbladet with a lot of information, we weren’t able to get through with our best arguments,” Sims explained.
“We got the feeling that the newspaper stays uninterested in presenting a more balanced picture.” It was as if they’d already made up their minds: the state’s authority can’t control the state-owned casino.”
The SGA also stated that it does not believe it is fair to “double punish” license holders. Casino Cosmopol’s license should not be restricted or denied if it has already been penalized for anti-money laundering violations.
“A sanction issued by us during the current license period has no impact on our decision to renew the license. We primarily consider the economic situation during this process. License holders do not get a “double penalty”. Sanctions and renewal of a license are two different things. This is true for all license holders,” Sims said.
“We’ve also had operators with an online casino license receive a five-year license. It was despite receiving a sanction during the previous license period and without a follow-up on the violation.”
In its conclusion, the SGA states unequivocally that they treat Casino Cosmopol the same as the rest of the market.