Swedish court says PCs used for gambling need permit

But you can still play Minesweeper

An internet café in Örebro in Sweden has been closed after the local council argued that its twelve PCs were occasionally used for gambling and it therefore needed a gaming permit.

When protesting didn't help and both the country administrative board and the administrative court ruled in favor of the cafe, the case was taken to the administrative court of appeal in Jönköping, which yesterday ruled that a PC - even in an internet café - automatically becomes a gaming machine if someone plays games with a financial stake on it.

Like most European countries, Sweden is imposing strict conditions on online gaming to prevent gambling addiction, even though Sweden's first home grown – state-run - poker web site was launched in March. Estimates are that around 200,000 Swedes play poker on the web.

The ruling could cause massive headaches to Swedish internet cafes, who now have to keep an eye on which sites their users are visiting.®

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