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Sweden introduces new tax on LAN parties

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

I’ve never hosted a LAN party in my life, but enjoy knowing that I could if I wanted to. Unfortunately, that fantasy has just been made a little less real for the Swedish thanks to a ruling by their Gaming Board – the country’s supervisory gambling authority. Prospective organisers of public LAN or internet-based gaming events will now need to apply for a two-year permit first.

As you might have clocked, Swedish law doesn’t seem to make any meaningful distinction between Xbox Ones and one-armed bandits. The new tax follows a recent Supreme Administrative Court decision, which ruled that “the business of programmed computers for gaming, such as connected in the so-called LAN environment or the Internet and addressed to the public, are considered to be licensable activities”.

The extent of the fee depends on the number of machines and, if the Gaming Board deem them necessary, whether inspections are carried out.

The Board’s decision applies to “all companies and economic associations”, thereby presumably lumbering larger Swedish gaming events, festivals and conferences with the same charge. It does not, however, apply to internet cafes, where computers are presumably used mainly for Facebooking.

Do you LAN? If so, what do you make of this?

Thanks, FriaTider.