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Betway to pay SEK100,000 after Swedish bonus ban breach

| By Marese O'Hagan
The Swedish Gambling Inspectorate (Spelinspektionen) has issued a penalty fee of SEK100,000 (£8320.62/€9732.65) to Betway for breaching rules around bonuses.

On 10 June 2021 Betway published a marketing campaign which promoted a 200% deposit match bonus. This was supposed to be exclusively available to customers registered to a minor brand owned by Betway Limited, but was accidentally made available to all Betway customers upon logging in.

From 11:00 to 14:30 on 10 June, the offer was used 53 times between 52 customers registered to the Betway database.

No marketing communications were sent out to customers advertising this offer. Betway also contacted customers to make them aware of the issue.

Betway flagged the issue to Spelinspektionen, which considered the breach as less serious as the operator had acted quickly, and issued the SEK100,000 fee.

The breach violated chapter 14 section 9 of the Gaming Act, which states that a licencee can only offer bonuses to players when a player first registers and not on a continual basis.

Spelinspektionen refined its regulations on bonuses in 2019, when Betsson’s NNG Nordic subsidiary and PlayOjo operator SkillOnNet were found to have offered bonuses to players on multiple occasions.

NGG Nordic was fined SEK19m, which was eventually reduced to SEK14m following an appeal. SkillOnNet was fined SEK14m.

In November, the Swedish government published details of an inquiry that Spelinspektionen will carry out, which will address gambling marketing in the country in the wake of the deposit cap ending.

The deposit cap, which was set at SEK5,000 (£428/€501/$575), was part of a temporary set of restrictions put in place to combat gambling harm during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

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