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Sweden has long been a monopoly when it comes to their gambling, as they have not let any private groups engage in running any gambling establishment, but that is all about to change after the ruling party voted to break up the monopoly.
Tomas Tobe of the ruling Moderate Party gave a speech that gave the idea that the way the country would move forward with gambling would be to get rid of their current system and create one in which there would be competition through a licensing system.
Research is going to be done on the subject and reports are expected on the findings by the end of 2008, at which time decisions would be made as to how many licenses and what kind of restrictions would go along with those licenses.
There are four political parties in Sweden and three of them, the Centre party, Peoples party, and the Moderates all were in favor of ending the monopoly. The Christian Democrats were the only group opposed.
One of the hurdles that will have to be crossed is how companies that receive the licensing rights will be taxed, and the idea is to come up with a system that makes both the government and the licensee happy.
Another issue that must be worked out is what will happen to the current group running the gambling in Sweden, Svenska Spel. Most believe that this company will be privatized so it has a chance to compete in the newly formed market by either selling to an outside buyer, or, the more likely scenario is to put the company up in a stock market listing.