Betfair, Betway and SkillOnNet fail in appeals over Swedish penalties
The three operators had approached the Supreme Administrative Court in an effort to have the historic penalties, issued by Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen, overturned.
However, the Supreme Administrative Court upheld three earlier decisions by the Court of Appeal, meaning Betfair, Betway and Skill On Net will now have to pay their penalties.
Betfair’s penalty relates to a case from June 2019, whereby the operator was found to have allowed wagering on sporting events featuring a majority of participants under the age of 18.
Licensed operators are not permitted to offer odds on events where the majority of participants are under the age of 18, as this is seen to increase the danger of minors being exposed to attempts to manipulate sporting results.
Betfair’s initial appeal to the Administrative Court in April 2020 was rejected, though a later hearing at the Court of Appeal in June last year led to the operator’s penalty being reduced from SEK5.5m (£437,877/€512,331/$522,995) to SEK4.5m.
In the case of Betway, the operator was issued a penalty of SEK5m in May of 2019 after Spelinspektionen ruled it breached bonus rules in the country.
Licensed operators in Sweden can only offer players a bonus when they first sign up to their online gambling platforms, but Betway was found to have offered bonuses on several occasions after the initial sign-up.
Betway appealed to the Administrative Court in June 2020, which led to the penalty being reduced to SEK4.7m after it was ruled that the operator’s estimated annual turnover had been set too high.
However, the Court of Appeal in Jönköping in June last year rejected a further appeal, while the latest ruling from the Supreme Administrative Court means the penalty remains.
Turning to SkillOnNet, the operator in June 2019 was issued a SEK14m penalty after it was also found to have breached regulations by offering players bonuses on multiple occasions and offered lottery games that were not covered by its licence.
SkillOnNet failed in an initial appeal in December 2020 to the Administrative Court, which concluded that the operator had violated the bonus ban and provided the lottery games. A second appeal to the Court of Appeal was also turned down in January this year.