Sweden Will Fine Payments Provider For Enabling Unlicensed Gambling

July 7, 2023
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The Swedish Gambling Authority has ordered Stockholm-based fintech company Zimpler to stop enabling transactions with unlicensed gambling operators or face a 25m Swedish krona (€2.1m) fine.

The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) has ordered Stockholm-based fintech company Zimpler to stop enabling transactions with unlicensed gambling operators or face a 25m Swedish krona (€2.1m) fine.

The order seeks to stop Zimpler from offering payment services containing BankID to online gambling companies that lack a Swedish licence, according to an announcement posted on Thursday (July 6). The company has until July 31 to comply.

BankID is an electronic identification service used only by Swedish customers, which led the regulator to conclude that unlicensed operators are using the payments service to access the Swedish market, it said.

Since January 1, it has been illegal for companies to promote gambling by companies unlicensed in Sweden.

The enforcement action began after the regulator got an anonymous tip suggesting that Zimpler was offering custom-made payment solutions for several unlicensed operators offering gambling in Sweden, the SGA wrote.

The regulator said it found that Zimpler’s logo was present on licensed gambling websites, but not on the unlicensed sites, even though some of the unlicensed sites offered only Zimpler as a payment service.

It is not enough to change the currency and the language of the website to avoid being in violation, the regulator said.

Zimpler’s defence, offered on May 23, was to deny that its actions were “unauthorised promotion”, but it promised to end its client relationships with European Union-licensed gambling companies without a Swedish licence that accept Swedish players, the SGA wrote.

It further argued that its clients were not on the regulator’s blacklist of companies illegally targeting the Swedish market.

But the SGA responded that an operator did not need to be on the regulatory blacklist to be in violation of rules on targeting Swedish customers without a gambling licence.

Zimpler offered to end its client relationships by the end of September, but the SGA is demanding action by the end of July.

The amount of the possible fine is based on the company’s net sales of SEK644m, the regulator said.

Zimpler had not responded to VIXIO by the time of publishing.

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