LADBROKES DIG TRIGGERS SWEDISH THREAT Svenske Spel umbrage over advertising line The traditional Swedish sense of humour was notably absent last week when, according to a report in iGaming Business, the Swedish state's gambling monopoly, Svenske Spel, threatened legal action against British bookie group Ladbrokes. The cause of the Scandinavian umbrage appears to be a bit of fun in the slogan of a Ladbrokes advertisement designed for the Swedish market which read "Svenska Spel, Engelska Odds", which translates as "Swedish Games, English Odds". Legal representatives of the Swedish monopoly have apparently corresponded with Ladbrokes in a threatening way, challenging the British company on grounds of trademark for the use of the Svenske Spel typeface and name, and demanding the immediate withdrawal of the offending ad. Ladbrokes appeared unfazed by the threat, and welcomed the opportunity to defend its campaign in court, pointing out that the Swedish state-owned entity does not also hold a monopoly on the Swedish language and cannot own the phrase. With tough talk on both sides, a meeting in a law court seems likely, providing a useful platform for once again airing the monopolistic nature of Swedish state-dominated gambling, which several major European Union gambling companies, and trade associations like EGBA have criticised as illegal and unfair in terms of EU requirements. Certainly such a legal confrontation will give the advert additional longevity.

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