The Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen is quickly becoming the strictest gambling regulation body. They just fined 8 casino operators.
Apparently, the reason for the fines levied against eight online casino operators was the same in all instances. What happened? Well, several sportsbetting operators offered gambling on events in the international under 19s and under 21s football sections. This appears to be the main infraction that has been mentioned.
Why is this a problem?
Under Swedish gambling regulations, it is prohibited to offer gambling on events where a majority of the participants are below the legal age of gambling (usually 18 years of age). The reason is in part the exposure to gambling of those participants themselves. But even more so you can expect that their fans are also under the legal gambling age and should not be tempted to place bets. Whilst it is illegal for under 18s to place sportsbets or undertake any form of a gambling, it’s not impossible either.
Who has been fined?
In total, about $4.4 million has to be paid by various operators. Among them is Hillside (Sports) ENC, the company behind bet365. They were hit with a fine of $1.1 million alone.
The Stars Group Interactive, running bookmakers such as PokerstarsCasino.se, FullTilt.se or BetStars.se, has been handed a fine of similar size.
FlutterEntertainment (running Betfair International) and GVC Holdings (who are behind ElectraWorks Limited) have each been fined with somewhat over $587,000 for similar infractions as the others.
The remaining operators that have received fines have to pay up somewhere to the tune of $267,000 to $374,000.
Katarina Abrahamson, who is from Spelinspektionen, commented that the fines were issued to protect underage players from being influenced by gambling.
For now, it seems operators will simply have to pay up and can continue operating under the Swedish license. Further infractions, however, are likely to result in more severe punishments and operators could even lose their license.
The Swedish gambling regulator is definitely on its way to becoming the strictest jurisdiction around. That’s a welcome move, if we’re being honest, as it keeps operators in check.