Sweden might not be the place you imagine when you think of restrictions on press freedom, but with a ruling passed down today they’ve shown that they’re every bit as scrupulous as Russia can be. The country’s press achieved quite the victory yesterday afternoon in the Sweden Supreme Administrative Court.
The argument stemmed from the fact that the Swedish Lotteries Inspectorate has imposed a judgment that foreign betting companies were forbidden from advertising sports odds in papers. Fines of SEK 150,000 (£13,848) were imposed on the newspapers involved but the court ruling means these will have to paid back to the publications involved.
One of them was Expressen, and their deputy chief editor, Per-Anders Broberg, commented: “the Supreme Administrative Court has concluded the obvious – that a government agency can not prohibit a newspaper from publishing odds from foreign gaming companies.”
Right2Bet also added: “we are very pleased with the Court’s ruling, which is entirely consistent with EU free trade principles. People must have the right to bet with the EU-licensed operator of their choice, and this decision is a good step towards establishing the economic freedoms that Swedish consumers have been denied, mainly due to the monopolistic state operator, Svenska Spel.”
More than anything, it’s a victory for common sense and is another damning indictment of state lotteries.