Swedish Watchdog Warns ATG and Polar Over Betting Violations

Sweden’s gambling inspectorate has issued official warnings against sports betting operators ATG and Polar Limited for failure to comply with the country’s sports betting laws.

Although Minor, the Breaches Are Not Excusable, Spelinspektionen Says

Swedish state-owned racing operator AB Trav Galopp (ATG) and Polar Limited, the operating firm of Coolbet.com, have received a warning from the Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen for breaching the country’s sports betting rules.

It became clear on February 2, that ATG had failed to comply with the legal age requirements and had accepted bets on a horse ridden by a jockey who was under the age of 18 at the time of the race. This goes against the Gaming Act provisions on sportsbook markets and has prompted Sweden’s gambling inspectorate to urge licensed online sportsbook operators to monitor its rules related to their in-play market offerings.

ATG willingly reported its omission to Spelinspektionen, explaining all details with regards to the breach and adding that it would take the necessary actions to prevent such an incident from happening again. Since February 24, the horse racing operator has adopted additional measures to ensure wagering on underage competitors in sports events is not possible.

ATG With Four Betting Breaches For the Past Two Years

Last month, ATG’s CEO Hasse Lord Skarplöth asked regulators to be less strict towards operators that inform the competent authorities of their own errors. Spelinspektionen has unveiled 46 cases of malpractice in the past two years, of which ATG plays part in four. The wrongdoings include illegal bonus offers and failing to comply with the country’s online casino deposit cap.

A year ago, the Swedish watchdog noticed that the ATG did not display age requirements on some ads in the correct manner. The operator faced a warning about a fine of $175,422 for any subsequent breaches. ATG also sent marketing messages to 77 people available on Sweden’s gambling self-exclusion list and was alerted about another possible fine of $337,980.

Spelinspektionen ruled out that in ATG’s current age breach case, there was no “systematic deficiency” of the operator’s procedures and does not require the issuance of a fine. Although ATG was not penalized, the Swedish watchdog said the error was not minor, hence the official warning to ATG.

Polar also volunteered to inform Spelinspektionen about its failure. Coolbet’s operator said it had offered wagers on fouls and yellow/red card markets, which are forbidden by Swedish law. Polar added that all the unlawful bets were canceled and stakes were returned to players. The operator said that the mistake was a result of a human error and further explained that it has fortified its measure to prevent such occurrences.

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