The Kindred Group which is one of the most popular online gambling operators on the planet has recently run into some trouble in the Swedish market. Spelinspektionen, the Swedish Gambling Authority has recently fined the online gaming company with a record SEK100 million (about $10.1 million) for some violations it made against the country’s gambling laws. Previous fines have not been as huge.
As it turns out, Kindred was being investigated by the Swedish Gambling Authority after it was discovered that it might have violated some gambling laws. The investigation found that the company had indeed offered a number of unauthorized bonuses to its customers in Sweden in March last year. The bonus violations were also found to have occurred in May and June of the same year.
In addition to offering several unauthorized bonuses, the Kindred Group also had a few other issues to answer for. Spelinspektionen found that some of the online gaming operator’s local subsidiaries had been offering lotteries. These kinds of products are not covered by their licenses. Spooniker Limited, one of the companies owned by the Kindred Group was one of the subsidiaries that were in the spotlight. It, however, managed to get away with just a warning from the gambling operator.
Taking to the company’s website to address the issue in question, Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Kindred Group acknowledged that the company had indeed received a fine from the gambling regulator. The CEO, however, expressed his disappointment in the way that the issue was handled especially due to ambiguities relating to gambling laws that govern the budding online gaming industry.
He added that the Swedish gaming regulator has not made an effort to clarify the law. The matter is currently mostly left to the courts. Now, it is obvious that the company is very displeased by the decision and they are looking into making things right.
“We will, of course, appeal the SGA’s decision, and it is imperative to stress that the SGA’s decision does not become legally enforceable until the appeal process has been exhausted, and a final judicial decision has been issued.”Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Kindred Group
While they are willing to comply and pay the fine that has been issued by the gambling authority, the Kindred Group is hell-bent on ensuring that the law is clarified first. They are of the opinion that the decision made by the gaming regulator and the ambiguous aspects of the Swedish legislation has the potential to lower channelization. This could, in turn, result in the possible failure of regulation. Needless to say, this is a very important component of the gaming group especially considering the large number of unlicensed online gaming sites that are eyeing the Swedish market.