- Sweden’s gambling regulator concludes U-18 betting probe
- Bet365 and other three companies cleared of charges
- Spelinspektionen considers suspending in-play wagers altogether
Spelinspektionen has cleared four betting operators – including Bet365 and Betsson – from charges that the companies had offered in-play options on U-18 athletes.
Spelinspektionen Clears Bet365, Betsson of Charges
Sweden’s gambling regulator, the Spelinspektionen, has cleared four operators, including Bet365, of charges that they had offered gambling options on underage individuals.
On Thursday, October 17, the Swedish watchdog, revealed the results of its investigation that looked into whether Betsson, Bet365, AB Trav Och Galopp and Spooniker, owned by Kindred Group, had not broken betting rules, by allowing wagers to be placed on U-18 athletes.
Concerns were first raised in April, when Spelinspektionen warned that it had reviewed information that certain operators had been offering live digital wagers on underage athletes.
Addressing these concerns, the regulator revoked licenses and ordered Bet365 subsidiary Hillside Sports to pay $1 million in fine for breaking gambling rules in the country. The latest results of the probe have lifted the charges, with Spelinspektionen confirming that the athletes in question were indeed 18 years at the time when wagers were placed.
Back in July, the watchdog issued total penalties worth $4.4 million to eight operators, including Betfair, Bethard, Casinostugan, Electraworks, Hillside, Polar Limited, TSG Interactive and Zecure Gaming.
Another company to have recently come under the hits of the regulator included Betway, which was forced to pay $520,000 recently.
The gunk-ho attitude didn’t relent in August, when Spelinspektionen announced that four more operators were penalized. They included:
- Cherry AB’s ComeOn Sweden
- Legolas Invest Ltd
Rooting Out In-Play Betting in Sweden
In light of recent investigations, Sweden has considered removing in-play betting options altogether, so as to ensure the integrity of betting contests. Sweden regulated its gambling market on January 1, 2019, giving high hopes to operators.
However, the country’s regulators have proven demanding and following the established legal framework to the bet, raising the standards for iGaming across Europe.
Svenska Spel, a native Swedish operator, also said it would support a move whereby underage and in-play betting is completely prohibited. The company’s CEO, Patrik Hafbauer, said that Svenska Spel was prepared to work together with Spelinspektionen to overcome any attempts of “cheating and crime.”
Svenska Spel also launched a program in June, designated to tackle match-fixing and educate youth as to the downsides of the activity. Spelinspektionen has cited efforts by Svenska on several occasions, including in a comprehensive report about match-fixing in Nordic countries.
Meanwhile, the regulator has also issued a warning to as many as 39 online media outlets, warning them to stop advertising gambling products. Sweden has cited concerns about a raising number of gambling addicts as the reason behind its decision to tackle gambling advertisement.
More specifically, Spelinspektionen said that casinos only could offer a sign-up bonus whereas any other forms and incentives to bet were considered illegal.
Image credit: Spelinspektionen Twitter.