Betsson to Continue with Pontus Lindwall at the Helm

Swedish gambling group Betsson AB is making a U-turn to keep its CEO, Pontus Lindwall, following a decision of the newly-elected Board of Directors. The board was recently approved via an extraordinary general meeting (EGM)

Revoke Decision to Replace CEO

Betsson AB announced today that its new Board of Directors decided to revoke a company decision dated September 19 to replace Pontus Lindwall as group CEO. The controversial decision and the manner in which the issue was handled were the reasons why Betsson Chairman Patrick Svensk had to step down from his position last month.

The new Board of Directors was elected at the EGM held at the company’s headquarters in Stockholm today, which re-elected three of the board members – Fredrik Carlsson, Johan Lundberg and Eva Leach. It also introduced two new members, Lindwall and Peter Hamberg. The EGM also elected Lundberg as Chairman of the Board.

The EGM was called by a group of main shareholders at the company, among which Hamberg Management Limited AB, Svea Ekonomi, the Hamberg, Boyer and Kling families, as well as Lindwall’s mother, Berit Lindwall, who were disappointed at the way the executive had been treated.

According to the newly-elected board, Betsson’s near-time to mid-future priorities should be the situation in the Netherlands and the entry into the US, and based on the uncertainties surrounding both priorities, a change at the executive level would be more detrimental than supportive. As a result, the board decided to withdraw the decision to replace Lindwall.

Lundberg outlined several discussions with main stakeholders, the company’s management team, Betsson employees and the largest shareholders had taken place. He asserted, “Based on those discussions the current Board does not believe that it would be good to change leadership now. The company needs to focus on all important work that lays ahead, such as for example the unexpected Dutch situation.”  

Dutch Operations Suspension

At the end of September, Betsson AB announced that it would stop accepting Dutch customers on their international websites, following a new enforcement policy released by the country’s gambling authority, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA). The suspension of operation began on October 1, 2021, when the Netherlands launched its newly-regulated online gambling market.

The KSA introduced a rule for providers, which do not actively target the Dutch market without a license but do serve Dutch players, that requires them to cease operations until a license is obtained. The unexpected development is estimated to impact Betsson’s operating profit (EBIT) negatively by approximately SEK25 million ($3 million) per month, with the long-term effect subject to how long it would take the company to obtain a license.

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