William Hill has been growing and opening new markets following their expansion strategy, with the Swedish sports betting market being the latest market to launch. The Swedish market has traditionaly been under the control of a monopoly owned by Svenska Spel. Svenska Spel was created in 1997, when Sweden's two largest lottery companies (Tipstjanst and Svenska Penninglotteriet) joined forces and merged into a single company.
Svenska Spel together with Trav och Galopp, the country's horse racing organization, basically run a monopoly on the Swedish gambling market which is not limited to horse racing or lotteries but also to casino games, sports bets, poker and any other form of gambling imaginable.
This monopoly has been criticised by EU members and defenders of open and unrestricted markets and while other companies have tried to access the market before, most have failed and pulled out.
William Hill is the latest company to give it a try and with their massive resources they just might be successfull. There have been rumours floating around for the last few years that Sweden might liberalize the local gambling market and the government has indeed expressed interest in at least regulating it and offering licenses for foreign operators wanting to share in the lucrative market, but nothing is expected to materialize at least before 2014.