Lotteriinspektionen, the Swedish gambling regulator, has claimed victory after Aftonbladet and Expressen, the two country’s leading newspapers, were told they cannot provide links to unregulated offshore companies. Both newspapers appealed an injunction imposed by Lotteriinspektionen in 2013 demanding they cease promoting links to foreign online gaming sites. The Chamber of Commerce civil court found that providing links to offshore gaming advertising is a measure of a pronounced commercial nature that is not protected by the freedom of expression. The Swedish court also ruled that the promotion ban in the lottery law is not contrary to EU law.
CAMILLA ROSENBERG, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF LOTTERIINSPEKTIONEN, SAID:
“It is positive that the tribunal will take a stand against promotion of lotteries without permission in Sweden. We assume that anyone who violates the promotion ban by linking to or promoting foreign gaming sites now ends with this.” Lottery Act 1994 prohibits promoting participation in a lottery organised in foreign countries for professional purposes. The Swedish regulator contended that clickable links hosted by both newspapers were promotions, in a similar nature to traditional advertising. Lotteriinspektionen has issued a number of similar court orders against other media companies regarding the same type of linking. According to the Lottery Act, Lotteriinspektionen can notify the injunctions and prohibits necessary for compliance with the law and impose penalties.