Sweden’s Spelinspektionen Issues Warning to Licensees Over Bonuses

Sweden Spelinspektionen Warning

It was in January of 2019 that Sweden opened its gambling market up to international casino and betting companies, allowing them to apply for licences from the regulatory body, Spelinspektionen. As of the moment, the country has handed out around 70 licences to online platforms, with more to come in the near future.

However, a warning has been issued by Spelinspektionen to all of its currently-licensed and future-licensed operators, which urges them to adhere to the recently implemented guidelines and rules surrounding bonus offers that they provide. This warning comes after the regulatory body received complaints about some of its licence holders neglecting the rules concerning bonuses and special offers. These rules dictate that bonuses are only able to be given to players who register with a licensee for the first time only.

The warning from Spelinspektionen was published via its website, with investigations finding that various operators had proceeded to offer multiple bonus rewards to its players, which doesn’t comply with current guidelines.

The regulatory body went on to say that incentives provided beyond the ones that have been authorised by it, stand the risk of attracting players who have problems with gambling. Addiction is something that Sweden intends to keep to an absolute minimum, especially since it opened its market up to international brands. Spelinspektionen also said that it keeps a close eye on the online gambling world, monitoring how licence holders fall in line with the rules that have been set out. An investigation has already been launched into several operators and the types of offers that they are providing to their players.

Any company that is found to be offering special incentives and bonus funds beyond what is considered legal under Sweden’s current laws, could end up on the receiving end of large fines. Additionally, Spelinspektionen reserves the right to revoke any licenses that don’t comply with these rules, it warned.

Speaking of the complaints received, Operations Chief Patrik Gustavsson said that a definition in the law defines all discounts or incentives relating to online gambling as being “a bonus”. It’s also very clear, he said, that a licensee is only able to provide a bonus to a player in the first instance of he or she playing at the platform. Clear guidelines are set up as to what a bonus is, so licensees should already know what is and isn’t considered legal.

As it stands, this marks the second time that Spelinspektionen has had to warn its licensees over standard Swedish online gambling laws. The first time, the regulatory body had to release a statement to its licensees regarding their adherence to self-exclusion for players. It was only a month ago that revocation of some operators’ licences was threatened.

To add to this, emphasis was placed on the fact that all operators holding a licence from Sweden, must ensure that the Spelpaus logo is visible on their website, with an active link also being in place for it. Any platform that doesn’t comply with these laws could receive a financial penalty that claims up to 10% of their revenue.

Category:   Gambling industry