UPDATE 12:40pm: Added response from Kindred.
The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) has penalised three gambling operators for failings in anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-terrorist financing efforts, including Kindred’s Spooniker and the part government-owned ATG horseracing company.
Kindred’s Spooniker unit received a warning and fine of 10.9m krona (€993,000), which the authority said is the highest possible fine it could have assessed under Swedish legislation.
The maximum penalty for violations of the Money Laundering Act is €1m, the authority said.
Kindred’s Spooniker “has failed in its work with customer knowledge and has not taken sufficient measures to be able to assess the risk of their business being used for money laundering and terrorist financing”, the SGA said today (November 23).
“The review also covered internal procedures and guidelines as well as how Spooniker Ltd manages the customer's risk profile and takes in-depth customer awareness measures,” the authority said of its review, which started in Autumn 2021.
AB Trav och Galopp (ATG), the racing betting company, received a warning and 6m krona (€546,901) fine, and had similar failings in knowledge of customers, the authority said.
Pinbet, trading under Pinnacle.se and pinnaclesport.se, also received a warning and fine of 2m krona (€184,063), the SGA said.
Kindred’s Spooniker trades under the websites bingo.se, mariabingo.se, mariacasino.se, storspelare.se and Unibet.se, the regulator said.
The warnings to the three gambling licensees mean that the authority can “initiate supervision at any time to review the licensees' compliance with the rules”.
Kindred said that the investigation by the SGA took place between January 2019 and February 2022.
The company said that since 2021 it has implemented procedures to improve its AML processes, including enhanced due diligence of customers that pose a risk.
"Kindred fully shares the SGA’s ambition to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. Anti-money laundering is a priority in Kindred’s compliance and sustainability framework," said the company.
However, the operator indicated that it may still appeal both the warning itself and the attached fine.
"Kindred would welcome increased clarity from the SGA and the legislation on what objective and effective AML risk parameters should be to consider when assessing a customer’s risk profile," the company said.