Licensing

Enlabs hands in Swedish licences, plans summer return

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Optibet operator Enlabs has opted to voluntarily relinquish its Swedish online betting and gaming licences, as it plans to undertake “development work” on its platform before relaunching with new licences in the market.

Enlabs president and chief executive George Ustinov said the operator would work on introducing functionality for the rapid onboarding solution Pay & Play to its platform, in order to allow players to deposit instantly without registration.

“The Swedish market is of great interest to Enlabs,” Ustinov said. “However, our platform currently lacks support for so-called ‘Pay & Play’, which is absolutely necessary for some of the brands we intend to launch in Sweden. 

“The internal development work has already begun, and we believe we have technology, licenses and organization with a clear marketing plan for the launch of several of our most important brands, in place by the summer of 2021.”

Enlabs was issued a licence by regulator Spelinspektionen to operate betting and gaming through its flagship Optibet brand in Sweden in March 2020. However, its services will now be unavailable until Summer 2021, when Enlabs plans to launch several brands in the market.

The operator added that currently, Swedish operations bring in only a very small portion of its overall revenue and so the closure would only have a marginal impact on earnings.

Enlabs also owns Ninja Casino operator Global Gaming, acquiring a majority stake in the operator in August 2020 before increasing its stake to 95.8% in November. Global’s brands were previously active in Sweden but saw its own licence revoked in June 2019, after Spelinspektionen found “serious deficiencies” in Global’s business practices, particularly regarding money laundering.

In October 2020, the Swedish Administrative Court of Appeal in Jönköping upheld Spelinspektionen’s decision, claiming Global Gaming “violated several provisions concerning gambling liability and the duty of care and thus has not observed the consumer protection interests and above all the protection of players with problem gambling”.

In the third quarter of 2020, Enlabs saw revenue grow 35.5% to €13.6m and profit quadruple to €10.3m, bouncing back from a Q2 in which revenue fell 35.0%.

Enlabs is currently active in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus and with a Malta-based .com site. It is also pursuing a licence in Ukraine, which legalised both land-based and online gambling earlier this year. It has set up a legal entity in the country as is required for a licence.

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