Swedish gambling regulator issues warnings to ATG and Polar

The Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has issued warnings to operators AB Trav och Galopp (ATG) and Polar Limited after it found both operators had breached betting regulations.

This comes after Sweden’s largest gambling operators teamed up with the country’s online gaming association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) to launch a project intended to educate consumers on the Swedish gambling market.

ATG’s case

The case against ATG revolves around an incident from 2 February 2021, when the operator admitted to the regulator that it had accepted bets on a horse ridden by a jockey that was under the age of 18 at the time of the race.

In Sweden, regulations prohibit licensed sportsbook operators from taking bets on the achievements of a participant in a match, competition, or tournament who is under the age of 18.

When ATG informed Spelinspektionen, the operator included all details of the breach and said it would take steps to avoid similar incidents in the future. The operator also said that since 24 February, it implemented new measures to ensure bettors cannot bet on underage contests.

In its evaluation, Spelinspektionen said there was no evidence to suggest the error was the result of “systematic deficiency” in ATG’s procedures and there it would not be assessed as a serious breach.

The regulator did not issue a fine to ATG but did say the error was not minor or excusable and therefore issued the operator with an official warning.

Polar’s case

Turning to the case against Polar Limited, the company behind Coolbet, the Swedish regulator issued a warning over a breach of the country’s betting regulations.

The case against Polar dates back to 9 April 2021 when the operator informed Spelinspektionen that it offered betting on certain match events during the Fifa World Cup qualifier game between Sweden and Georgia on 25 March.

In Sweden, operators are prohibited from taking bets on fouls that could lead to penalty kicks, yellow or red cards in sports contests.

Polar said that the bet types were offered by mistake and as a result, all wagers on such in-game events were cancelled, with the stakes being returned to customers.

The sportsbook operator said that the mistake came down to a human error and went on to explain that it implemented new measures in January 2021 to block Swedish bettors from accessing these types of bets.

In its analysis of the case, Spelinspektionen noted that the operator has strengthened its processes to prevent similar errors in the future.

Spelinspektionen explained that while there was no evidence of a systematic defect in its procedures and the case was not serious, it was neither a minor or excusable error.

Therefore, the regulator did not issue a fine to the Coolbet operator, but similar to ATG, Spelinspektionen gave Polar an official warning.

Both the warnings issued to Polar and ATG come after the regulator announced it will not appeal a court ruling in a case involving Betsson Nordic Ltd earlier this month.

Spelinspektionen won’t appeal Betsson ruling

Last year, Spelinspektionen issued a warning and a SEK20m (£1.7m/$2.4m) fine to Betsson after it was alleged that the operator’s sale of vouchers at Pressbyrån and 7-Eleven constituted the sale of games via unregistered gaming agents.

Under the country’s Gaming Act, it is an offence to sell gambling products through unregistered agents. Therefore, the regulator claimed the operator received unauthorised payments from these sales.

Fast forward to 14 June 2021 and the Administrative Court in Linköping dismissed the fine and ruled that the sale of vouchers did not mean Betsson was supplying games through unregistered agents or receiving unauthorised payments.

In addition to overturning the fine, the court overturned the regulatory boy’s original complaint. Following the court’s decision, Spelinspektionen announced it will not appeal the decision any further