The Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen) has fined operator AB Trav och Galopp (ATG) after its player exclusion system failed after a system update.
An estimated 100 players using a mobile bank ID for Sweden’s race betting monopoly operator were not able to access the self-exclusion function for a two-week period earlier this year.
Players were still able to self-exclude through customer services or by logging in through a bank ID on file or their username.
However, the regulator said it did not regard the failure as insignificant and reprimanded ATG and imposed a SEK2m (€190,000) fine.
The board said in its judgment: “According to ATG, the cause of the shortfall was a technical error that occurred in connection with an update of the login system.
“The Swedish Gaming Authority does not consider it excusable that a technical error causes a deficiency of this nature without ATG immediately discovering the error.
“The bug was only discovered 14 days later, and a large amount (estimated at 100) players may thus have been affected by the error.
“Even when ATG corrected the error immediately after they discovered it, the time period is not insignificant in the context. Overall, the violation cannot be assessed as minor or excusable.”
The board said ATG had promptly corrected the error when it came to its attention. ATG has also introduced routines to prevent the same problem from happening again, which should mean the violation will not be repeated, the regulator said.
Under Swedish gambling regulations, a licensee must give registered players the opportunity to suspend themselves from games for a certain period of time or until further notice. A suspension until further notice may not be lifted until after 12 months at the earliest.
The function for self-exclusion, using the country’s Spelpaus system, must be clearly visible and accessible from all pages on the website where the player can play or where there is information about the gambling account or information about gambling responsibility.
Last year, ATG was fined SEK2m for violating rules that forbid giving players more than an initial bonus at registration, after online bingo players were able to take advantage of bonus offers more than once, the regulator said.
In 2020, the Swedish Consumer Ombudsman ordered ATG to stop sending marketing material to consumers who have self-excluded or indicated they do not want to receive advertising pitches.