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Apple Starts Reinstalling Gambling Apps on Its Swedish Store
- May 13, 2015 By Oliver Young -
Shortly after Apple had to remove all gambling apps from its Swedish App Store, the company has started reinstalling them back. In February, 2015, the Swedish Gambling Authority (Lotteriinspektionen) reportedly made a legal complaint claiming that the gambling apps featured on Apple’s App Store for Sweden failed to comply with certain terms and conditions which makes them illegal.
After the official complaint was made approximately 40 mobile casino apps including the ones by Unibet, Bet365, Betsson, Betfair and William Hill have been removed from the Swedish App Store. Nevertheless, in April the Authority has withdrawn its complaint and PokerStars and Unibet apps have been already reinstalled.
According to some sources, the gaming regulator had received a letter in which was stated that online gambling operators had failed to meet particular terms when it comes to offering gaming services and therefore their mobile applications should be considered illegal.
The main problem was that unlicensed operators were supposedly targeting players located in Sweden. Nevertheless, after taking everything into account, the Swedish Gaming Authority decided to allow Apple to reinstall the mobile casino apps.
Swedish Association of Online Gambling Operators Happy with the Decision
The Swedish Association of Online Gambling Operators (Branschföreningen för Onlinespel) was one of the first groups to express their concerns and critic the move made by the Swedish Gambling Authority.
However, the latest events made the group happy with the regulator’s decision. The General Secretary of the Association, Gustaf Hoffstedt, said that there are no laws that prohibit foreign gambling operators that hold EU licences to make their mobile casino apps available on the Internet. Additionally, he pointed out that the current EU law forbids Sweden to discriminate gambling companies based in any of the member states of the Union.
Hoffstedt didn’t fail to remind that the Swedish Gambling Authority to forget using tricks like this and focus all of its attention on making an optimised and up to date licensing system that would meet the expectations of the Swedish government. He finished by highlighting the importance of having all interested parties working together and coming up with the best possible solution.
Apple Wasn’t Requested to Remove the Gambling Apps
Even though the situation was resolved positively for Apple, the Swedish Gambling Authority made some comments claiming that it never made formal complaints against the technology giant Apple or its offer in the Swedish App Store.
According to the regulating body, the company based in the United States had decided to make the move of removing the gambling apps without being asked to do so by the Authority. If that is true, turns out that Apple was trying to avoid having any issues with the Swedish Gambling Authority once the concerns about offering unlicensed gaming products to Swedish citizen have arisen.
Nevertheless, it is easy to understand Apple’s reaction since the Lotterriinspektionen throughout 2014 made several public statements that it won’t tolerate any advertising channels for unregulated gaming operators that target Swedes. Additionally, the Authority also threatened to fine those who help these operators reach Swedish gamblers.