Major gambling group Kindred have been hit with a large penalty by Sweden’s gambling regulator over failings over bonuses and lottery games.
Spelinspektionen issued the large fine, worth £8.3 million due to failings at the Kindred subsidiary, Spooniker. The operator was found to be in breach of Sweden’s Gambling Act, which came into effect at the start of January 2019. The failings, which followed a review instigated in March 2019, relate to the offering of a range of unauthorised bonuses, as well as lottery games that were not permitted according to the terms of Spooniker’s licence.
According to the rules on penalties in the Swedish sector, fines should not exceed more than 10% of the operator’s turnover, but in this case, Spelinspektionen said that the nature of the breach and the number of offenses justified a higher penalty than normal.
But in announcing the decision, Spelinspektionen confirmed that there would not be any further action, such as license suspension or revoking:
“However, since Spooniker Ltd has made a correction and it is assumed that in future the company will not violate the rules on bonus offers or offer games that are not covered by the license, the Spelinspektionen considers, however, that a warning together with a penalty fee is a sufficient intervention.”
The penalty specifically related to a number of Spooniker offers and promotions that Spelinspektionen considered to be financial inducements or bonuses, in breach of the Act. But in their response, Kindred asserted that the Act itself was vague on the issue of what offers are considered to be bonuses. As a result, the group said that they would be appealing against the decision in order to gain further legal clarification on the subject.
Kindred currently operates six betting brands in the Swedish market, including Unibet, Bingo.com and iGame. They are the latest betting operator to be hit by Spelinspektionen action as the regulator attempts to enforce the regulations in the re-launched betting market.