Government officials in Sweden are considering a very radical action in their efforts to curb online gambling addiction – a blanket ban on advertising for online casinos of any kind. It’s a move that, on its face, is meant to fight problem gambling but, in reality, will provide a major boost for Sweden’s former online gambling and sports betting monopolies – which just happen to be owned by the government.

The idea of depriving online gambling operators of a critical marketing tool is the brainchild of the Swedish Minister for Public Administration, Ardalan Shekarabi. Shekarabi’s department is now tasked with forming a study group to look into the possibility of implementing the ban and deciding whether a total or partial ban is necessary. They are expected to deliver the results of the study by October 2020.

While banning ads for online casinos could have a positive effect on problem gamblers, it could also have a very negative impact on private gambling operators. A ban like this could be a huge problem for them as they attempt to build their base of players in the newly opened Swedish gambling market. Of course none of this would be much of a problem for the established operators which, coincidentally, are run by the Swedish government. Their former monopoly status in the market has given them an incredible advantage – an already developed player base – that their new rivals couldn’t hope to compete with.

For his part, Shekarabi wasn’t offering a lot of details in the matter telling a Reuters reporter, “There is scope for the commissioner to recommend a total or partial ban on gambling advertising.”


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