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Rachael Price October 9, 2019 3 min read
LeoVegas’ Swedish License Extended After Court Ruling
- LeoVegas awarded 5-year license by Swedish court
- Regulator’s previous decision cancelled
- LeoVegas takes this as a proof of the professionalism of the company’s business
A Swedish court has extended LeoVegas’ gaming license to five years, after the Spelinspektionen allowed the company only two years of operations originally.
Swedish Court Extends LeoVegas’ License to Five Years
LeoVegas’ Swedish website has come on the good side of a legal exchange with the country’s casino regulator – Spelinspektionen.
Following a regulatory decision to limit LeoVegas’ operations in the country to a two-year license agreement at first, the company filed a lawsuit in a bid to extend that to the maximum legal limit of five years.
On October 8, the Swedish Administrative Court of Linköping overturned the Spelinspektionen decision, giving LeoVegas the go-ahead to operate for five years. LeoVegas was one of the first brands to set-up its shop in Sweden following the beginning of the regulated iGaming market in the country on January 1, 2019.
LeoVegas has been under fire in the United Kingdom, where the UK Gambling Commission slapped the operator with a £600,000 fine for failing to uphold advertising standards. Spelinspektionen has also warned operators in Sweden to ensure that their advertisement practices were up to the required standards after multiple failures have been identified.
A Slew of Misleading Adverts in the UK
In the United Kingdom specifically, LeoVegas has been accused of running as many as 41 misleading ads, targeting – unintentionally as the company specified – 11,205 self-excluded players.
Similarly, LeoVegas had sent 1,894 marketing materials to players who participated in a self-exclusion scheme. Furthermore, there were 413 other individuals who also received various incentive and allowing them to gamble without complying with the 24-hour cool-off period or approaching said customers personally to assess if they are ready to gamble.
LeoVegas accepted the penalty and said that the company would seek to avoid a repeat of the situation which was occasioned by a “software error,” the respected operator explained.
The reason for the regulatory failings wasn’t entirely left to LeoVegas, however, after affiliate partners had also failed to comply with the necessary regulation.
Spelinspektionen Follows Up on the UKGC to Limit the Company
The basis for the 2-year term that LeoVegas originally gained was based on the UK Gambling Commission data. The operator deemed the move to be unfair and argued that:
By allowing only one press release to form the basis of this decision, Spelinspektionen did not fulfill its investigative duty.
The Court of Linköping, however, deemed that whatever regulatory failures LeoVegas may have shown in the past, the brand had taken all necessary steps to improve upon them already. Here’s what the decision read:
The Administrative Court believes that these violations, both collectively and individually, are serious. They may also be considered to provide grounds to assume that there is a risk related to the company’s ability to comply with the requirements imposed on gambling activities under the Gaming Act.
LeoVegas Group CEO Gustaf Hagman argued that the court’s decision was proof that LeoVegas has met the necessary regulatory standards, and that the company continued to conduct “a professional business.”
He also noted that Sweden has also saw some operators leave the market, but as to LeoVegas, the company is on the cusp of another offensive expansion.
LeoVegas’ General Counsel Vala Karimi also noted that it was natural to expect a much tighter regulatory landscape in places like Sweden as opposed to offshore and unregulated markets.
Rachael is a veteran gaming journalist with over 9 years of writing experience but has only just started within the gambling industry. She has built a keen interest within the iGaming sector over the years from exposure at events and intends to translate her passion into publications here at GamblingNews.com to keep our readers updated with the latest developments.
Legal October 9, 2019
Legal October 9, 2019