Sweden’s gambling industry received a boost from the Patent and Market Court which sided with Betsson and ruled against claims for compensation for allegedly exploiting gambling addiction.
Seeking Compensation for Losses and Damages
An unnamed customer at BML Group, a Betsson subsidiary, filed a lawsuit against the operator claiming he had deposited between 2009 and 2014 €700,000 and generated through casino games play €15 million in turnover for the gambling company. The player who closed his account in 2014 and was later on diagnosed with gambling addiction used funds generated through his own business to finance his gambling spend.
The plaintiff claims focus on the aggressive marketing practices adopted by BML Group, which regularly sent him e-mails and text messages, and after he had reduced his spending in 2011, was sent goodwill bonuses in 2012.
Due to his company being declared bankrupt because of his gambling addiction, the plaintiff suffered both mental and physical damages, his lawyers stated in court, seeking to justify claims for compensation to the amount of €15 million stating the operator profited illegally from the plaintiff’s gambling addiction.
The plaintiff’s lawyers went on to compare BML’s marketing practices to harassment, stating he was not treated according to the Swedish law for consumer protection.
In response to allegations, Betsson rebuffed claims total turnover from the client amounted to €15 million but rather to €700,000, the number of total deposits. With regards to claims for physical and mental damages, the operator defended itself by stating gambling was funded via company money rather than personal funds. There was no aggressive marketing but just commonly accepted industry-wide practices, Betsson noted further.
Profiting from Gambling Addiction Could Not Be Proved
Judges at the Patent and Market Court decided it could not be proved that the operator was aware of the gambling addiction issues experienced by the plaintiff, hence the claims that the operator exploited the customer’s problems were dismissed.
“Although the investigation shows that BML Group has to some extent been able to follow his gambling, it has also not been shown that the company can be assumed to have had such knowledge.”Court Ruling
The court also ruled against claims of aggressive marketing from BML Group and ordered the plaintiff to reimburse legal costs for the defendant and provide compensation of more than €200,000 following the case settlement.
The court ruling is a triumph for the online gaming group which puts responsible gambling at the core of its operations. During the Safer Gambling Week in November last year, Betsson reaffirmed its commitment to fully protect customers.