Sweden’s Supreme Administrative Court has rejected eight enforcement appeals by gambling companies which had received warnings and fines.
None of the operators received leave to appeal, which means they cannot challenge the court’s latest ruling.
The warnings and fines were all appealed first to the Administrative Court and then to the Court of Appeal, both of which had rejected the operator's arguments prior to the latest ruling.
All of these operators were found to have accepted bets on football matches where the majority of players were under the age of 18.
However, the size of the fines the operators must pay varies quite greatly, as the penalty fees were set in relation to the company's turnover.
TSG Interactive must pay a penalty of SEK10m (€940,000), Hillside (Sports) ENC also has to pay SEK10m, Snabbare SEK8m, ComeOn Sweden SEK5.5m, Hajper Ltd SEK4m, Zecure Gaming SEK3m and Casinostugan SEK3m, while Polar only has to pay SEK600,000.
Penalty fees for operators can range from SEK5,000 to a maximum of 10 percent of the licensee's turnover in the immediately preceding financial year, with the amount determined based on the seriousness of the infringement and how long it lasted.
Offering games where the majority of players are under the age of 18 is considered a “serious” violation by the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA).
“Serious violations must result in the licence being revoked unless a warning is considered sufficient,” according to the court decisions.
As Sweden’s Gambling Act is still rather new legislation, it is good it is tried in court, a spokesperson for the SGA told VIXIO GamblingCompliance.
“This way we get case law, which is good for all parties. Spelinspektionen has five more cases in the Supreme Administrative Court that are awaiting a decision on leave to appeal. And another nine cases in the Court of Appeal in Jönköping,” according to the SGA.
Some of the operators argued the fault was caused by supplier issues, while others complained they had accepted bets on games where players were changed after the original line-up was announced.
Additionally, as the operators took action to rectify the situation once they had been alerted by the SGA and there is no indication they will offer bets on these events again, no licences were revoked for these violations.
The fines were announced originally in 2019, along with a string of other enforcement actions for similar issues.
Earlier in July, the SGA announced that the Supreme Court had rejected Betfair International’s bid to appeal against its SEK4.5m (€425,000) fine and warning for allowing bets on matches with under-18s.
Alongside the announcement of the Betfair decision, the Supreme Court also upheld a SEK14m (€1.3m) fine for Skill On Net for offering its customers an illegal bonus and an illegal lottery.
Additionally, the Supreme Court ruled that Betway must pay its penalty fee of SEK4.7m for offering its customers an unauthorised bonus.