Sweden’s gambling authority Spelinspektionen has clarified the matter of betting on sports events that engage underage players. The clarifications have come as a result of a number of appeals piling up from operators that were fined and warned for accepting bets on matches played by minors.
Bet365, ComeOn, and PokerStars Denied Their Appeals
In July, the country’s Supreme Administrative Court did not accept the appeals made by operators PokerStars, Bet365, and ComeOn. Their appeals were issued in regards to the penalty fees totaling as much as SEK10m ($900,660) issued by the country’s regulator. The fines were given as a result of the three companies allowing wagers on sports events that included minors as players.
The three operators received different penalty fees and they were all given warnings for violating chapter 8 in section 2.2 of the Gaming Act. The respective chapter strictly prohibits any wagers on sports events where the majority of participants are represented by underage players.
The Administrative Court rejected the appeals submitted by the operators. The three decided to take things further, submitting their appeals to the Supreme Administrative Court. The Supreme Court ruled against hearing their appeals.
According to the Spelinspektionen, the judgments of the Court of Appeal on all three individual cases have helped shed more light on a series of regulations. Among them, is the matter of penalties that operators should be handed when breaching the rules. The penalties, according to the regulator, should be determined by looking at the licensed operators’ gross turnovers.
The Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court shared the same belief that the ceiling for these penalty fees should be determined based on the turnover. At the same time, the two courts expressed different thoughts regarding the way the turnover would affect the actual size of the penalty fee. Different definitions were also attributed to the figure that should be used when representing gross turnovers in different scenarios.
Other clarifications referred to the definition of an “event” that has been explained to apply to all individual matches. The Spelinspektionen also explained that all participants that are registered to attend a match need to be considered when determining the exact number of participants. This number should include both players and their substitutes. The same regulator also further explained that whether a form of manipulation took place should be of secondary importance when determining whether an operator has broken the rules. Secondary importance should also be given to the number of times that a violation had occurred, and the exact percentage of minor participants in a match.
At the end of September, the Swedish Gambling Authority prohibited Ease Gaming from offering its services to residents in the country as a result of the company running its business without a license.