Sweden has one of the most stringent online gambling markets in the world and the gambling regulator Spelinspektionen is ever vigilant to police the market and check if licensed iGaming operators are complying with gaming regulations.
The ComeOn Group which runs a number of gaming websites in Sweden has run afoul of Spelinspektionen and has been slapped with heavy fines that exceed $15 million in total.
Spelinspektionen stated that four brands belonging to ComeOn had committed multiple gambling regulations and as a result heavy fines that have been imposed. The heavy fines send a strong message to both ComeOn brands and also the rest of the licensed gaming market in Sweden.
Spelinspektionen issued a SEK25 million penalty ($3 million) to Casinostugan, Hajper Ltd was slapped with a SEK50 million fee and ComeOn Sweden was hit with a SEK35 million fee. Snabbare Ltd was the brand that received the highest fine as they were slapped with a SEK65 million fine. All four gambling sites were also issued a stern warning by the gambling regulator highlighting their shortcomings.
The Swedish gambling regulator clarified that the size of the fines were different because they were calculated based on the seriousness of the failure to comply with gambling regulations and also the length of the non-compliance.
Nature Of Gaming Violations
Spelinspektionen confirmed that the nature of the gaming violations were mostly related to bonus abuse. Sweden has a very strict gaming policy when it comes to bonuses and only allows operators to offer a welcome bonus to new players. Licensed operators are not allowed to offer on-going bonuses as Spelinspektionen considers this an incentive to get players to gamble regularly.
All four gambling operators were fined because they continued to offer regular bonuses to players even after registration. The gambling watchdog said by deliberately giving ‘gifts’ to existing players they encouraged them to gamble and shirked their responsibility of looking after their customers and protecting players.
Some of the violations saw Casinstugan give a player free spins in addition to SEK21,000 in bonus cash while another player received SEK40,000 in bonus cash. Hajper deposited SEK7,400 and free spins to one player while another SEK13,500 and free spins. Snabbare Ltd gave a player a free bonus of SEK6,950 and offered another player free spins.
Spelinspektionen has also confirmed that if a gambling operator has multiple issues with non-compliance, they will have their iGaming license revoked.