Kindred Group Wins Appeal
Renowned iGaming company Kindred Group recently won an appeal against online casino deposit limits in Sweden. The Swedish Gambling Authority had earlier determined that the operator had been breaking local laws regarding casino finances.
According to the latest reports, the Maltese company was fined in December 2020 after its subsidiary, Spooniker Limited, was found guilty of allowing punters to deposit in excess of SEK 5,000 (£423) a week. Experts familiar with the incident claimed that this temporary threshold was introduced in June 2020 to prevent rising cases of problem gambling during the coronavirus pandemic. What started as a six-month term was extended by a second term.
Sliema-headquartered Kindred Group never denied Spelinspektionen’s allegation of allowing players to deposit beyond the legally stipulated deposit threshold. However, it claimed that the websites run by Spooniker Limited never allowed punters to wager beyond the limit within a week.
The operator further explained that punters overshooting the limit weren’t partaking in online casino games but rather enjoying its sports betting services, which fall outside the purview of the deposit limit.
The Administrative Court of Linkoping agrees with the Kindred Group’s argument. It dismissed the earlier judgment while throwing out an injunction that had slapped the online casino operator with a fine of £85,304 or failing to comply with the Swedish Gambling Authority’s guidelines.
The Kindred Group operates five iGaming platforms in Sweden. The list includes Bingo.com, Unibet, Storspelare, Maria Casino, and iGame. The Swedish Gambling Authority can challenge the recent judgment, although any such action will likely be made after the temporary check expires in June 2021.
The Side-Effects of the Deposit Limit
The temporary cap on deposit limit did not affect Swedish iGaming operators, with local behemoth Betsson Group AB reporting a 31% YoY jump in business to £142.5 million. Pontus Lindwall, Betsson’s Chief Operating Officer, said that the casino reported a 39% increase in wagers over the first three months since the law came into effect. However, the launch of Jallacasino.se could have severely impacted the result.
Moreover, Sweden’s state-owned Svenska Spel reported a 7% YoY revenue boost in Q3 2020 to nearly £42 million, while compatriot ATG, which doesn’t offer online casino services yet, raked in an additional 18% revenue amounting to £117.67 million from its online horse racing operations.
Kindred Group Share Buy-Back Program
In related news, Kindred Group repurchased 138,000 shares as part of a buy-back program that’s due to continue till the end of April 2021. The operator plans to repurchase up to 2 million of its own shares, amounting to SEK 190 million (£16 million).
The recent acquisition was made during the latest round, which ran between March 8 and 12. Since the program commenced on March 1, Kindred Group bought a total of 842,000 shares. The share repurchasing effort is part of the company’s initiative on Sweden’s Nasdaq Stockholm, where the operator is legally allowed to spend up to SEK 190 million.
Category: Gambling industry