On January 1st, 2019, the new regulatory system for online gambling came into effect in Sweden. The date marked the very first time that foreign companies were allowed to offer online gambling services, including poker, to citizens in Sweden based on local authorization. The gambling body overseeing the new industry is Spelinspektionen and they are not playing games when it comes to upholding regulations and calling out companies for making the wrong moves.
With the new laws in place, tough restrictions have been created involving advertising and promoting online gambling as well as involving sports betting. In the just over six months since the new laws went into effect, several of the largest gambling companies in the world have broken the rules. This includes The Stars Group, Bet365, Betfair and GVC. Each of these companies have had to pay fines based on their actions.
Almost immediately after the new rules came into play, Spelinspektionen began issuing warnings to operators that their offerings might be in breach of licensing terms. The tough penalties came in May, with some operators at risk of losing their licensing.
Operators who have invested in the region are complaining that some of the rules are ambiguous based on definition and are difficult to accurately implement. According to a recent media report, of the 67 companies licensed for online gambling in Sweden, 18 have already been found to be in violation of the Swedish Gaming Act.
Many in Violation
This is equal to more than one in four of the companies running afoul of the new gaming regulations. Complaints, warnings and sanctions have been issued with as much as SEK 98.2 million fines issued, which is equal to $10.2 million in US dollars.
In June, the toughest action by the region took place when Ninja Casino’s parent company lost their gaming license. Global Gaming 555 AB lost their license for Ninja Casino after the regulator found that the company has violated several areas of gaming law involving the protection of players against excessive gaming.