Swedish Regulator Battles Appeals, Wins Some, Loses Some

May 29, 2024
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​​​​​​​The Swedish Gambling Authority won some appellate court cases this week and lost others, including a ruling upholding its penalties against five operators who were assessed more than €10m in total, but suffered defeat in its enforcement against payments company Zimpler.
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The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) won some appellate court cases this week and lost others, including a ruling upholding its penalties against five operators who were assessed more than €10m in total, but suffered defeat in its enforcement against payments company Zimpler.

On Monday (May 27), the Court of Appeal in Jönköping upheld punishments against four brands owned by ComeOn, plus a fifth licensee, over violations of bonusing rules, the regulator said on Tuesday.

In February 2021, four ComeOn brands were fined a total of 175m Swedish krona (€15.3m), and XC Gaming Sweden was fined SEK5m by the SGA, which said they violated rules against bonuses only at registration plus duty of care responsibilities.

In the course of appeals, the regulator said its judgment was upheld, with the only significant change a reduction in penalties for two of the five operators.

Also on Monday, the Court of Appeal rejected appeals by both Hillside Sports (bet365) and the SGA in a ruling on the regulator’s 2019 penalty against Hillside for taking bets on matches in which a majority of players were under 18.

The court upheld the fine, but rejected the regulator’s attempt to raise the size of the fine from SEK400,000, a level to which it had been reduced by a lower court from the original SEK1m.  

The Administrative Court also ruled against the SGA in overturning its injunction which threatened a SEK25m (€2.2m) fine if payments company Zimpler did not stop offering payments services to operators unlicensed in Sweden.

Zimpler appealed, arguing that it should be able to mediate payments to companies licensed elsewhere in the European Union, as long as they are not targeting the Swedish market.

The court said the regulator lacked the grounds for its order.

The Administrative Court’s ruling can be appealed to the Court of Appeal in Jönköping, the SGA said on its website.

But earlier this month, Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FI) announced a separate investigation into Zimpler that will examine how it complies with money laundering regulations.

The agency said it launched the investigation because Zimpler is active in the gambling industry, which “is considered to run a high risk of being used for money laundering and terrorist financing, which places special demands on those who are exposed to it”.

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