In what can only be described as a complete 180 degree turn-around, and a blatant retreat in policy direction, Sweden’s Christian Democrat party has decided it would consider bringing an end to the longstanding Swedish betting monopoly. This decision could threaten Svenska Spel, but it’s more puzzling how this party could flip flop on one of their core policies.
Until now the Christian Democrats have been aggressive defenders of the monopoly with their arguments that it protects individuals from possible addiction. Perhaps now, they are finally realizing how foolhardy those arguments were.
“The most important thing for the Christian Democrats is the responsibility taken by betting companies for the gamblers, that they take some social responsibility. This can be lacking if you let in private operators to a market without control and who take no responsibility for those who bet with them,” said cultural policy spokesman Andreas Carlsson as quoted in The Local.
I guess the obvious response is, “No shit.”
Truth be told, private operators operating in other jurisdictions already have impeccable reputations and have had them long before the Christian Democrats woke up and realized that there was money to be made from ending the monopoly.
I guess common sense finally prevailed when the party realized that if the monopoly were broken, the companies operating in the Swedish market would be forced to pay part of their income to the government, which would represent a potentially huge cash injection.
Chalk one up for the almighty, dollar that is.
As it stands now, Swedes are still gambling, that money is just going to some private operators who are offering a better service.