Sweden’s Spelinspektionen Stops Investigation Into Four License Holders Regarding Underage Gambling

Oct 18

The gambling regulatory body of Sweden — Spelinspektionen — has declared that it was halting an investigation that it was conducting on four license holders that allegedly allowed underage players to bet on sports matches.

Back in April, Spelinspektionen, started an investigation on operators Betsson, Bet365, Spooniker, and local racing pro AB Tray Och Galopp (ATG). The investigation concluded that no breach of rules happened with regards to accepting wagers that featured underage athletes in matches.

The investigation was driven after the Spelinspektionen handed down a warning back in April over in-play bets that featured athletes who were minors. The eight license holders that were slapped with a massive fine totaling of SEK41.2 million ($4.4 million) included Hillside Sports, which Bet365 is a trading name of.

The existing conditions state that any bets on individuals under the age of 18 are is in violation of the license. After studying the details of the case, the Swedish regulatory body has now claimed that players were “largely over 18 years”, and would be dropping the investigation against the four companies.

In July, Hillside Sports was mandated to pay SEK10m or US$1.1m as a penalty for the very same offense. This confusion led the Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) to shut down its Swedish sportsbook in July after receiving a fine.

Just recently, representatives from the Swedish government met with soccer and hockey associations to probe what kinds of in-play betting need to be banned. The goal is to lessen any issues of match- or spot-fixing by placing a profound emphasis on educating individual athletes.

Patrik Hofbauer, the CEO of the state-run Svenska Spel gambling business, urged gambling operators to “work together against cheating and crime.”

An appeal over fines for media institutions that advertised unauthorized gambling operators has been upheld, after the recent licensing modifications in Sweden meant that the fines initially imposed had lost significance.

In May 2018, the Spelinspektionen issued fines of SEK100,000 or $103,200 on media outlets that did not adhere to a warning that gave 39 companies just 24 hours to pull out the ads. The Court of Appeal in Jönköping has given a decision that claimed that since the fines were issued under the old Swedish gambling regulatory system, they should be omitted.