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Court denies Spelinspektionen leave of appeal over deposit cap loophole

| By Daniel O'Boyle
The Swedish Court of Appeal has refused regulator Spelinspektionen’s leave to appeal a case against Kindred subsidiary Spooniker concerning a loophole in the country’s temporary deposit cap.
Svenska Spel 2023

The case arose after Spelinspektionen sanctioned both Kindred and ATG for what it said were violations of Sweden’s SEK5,000 (£428/€476/$540) mandatory weekly deposit limit for online casino games

At Kindred sites, players were able to set their own deposit limits, but would only be allowed to play casino games if their limit was under SEK5,000. However, players could set a higher limit, deposit a large amount, lower their deposit limit back below SEK5,000 and spend their entire balance on online casino games.

While the regulator saw this as a violation, Kindred appealed to the Administrative Court in Linköping. The court ruled that the law refers only to a player’s deposit limits for online casino, rather than their actual deposits.

Spelinspektionen was quick to lodge an appeal to this decision, in the Swedish Court of Appeal. However, the court has determined that there are not grounds for appeal and the Linköping decision stands.

According to Spelinspektionen, the court determined that the law refers to deposit limits, not actual deposits.

Spelinspektionen had previously criticised this decision, warning it made the deposit cap almost unenforceable. When the Swedish government considered extending the cap until November – a decision it later put in place – the regulator demanded further clarity around the rule first.

It said that the Linköping decision would mean the deposit cap “loses its significance as a consumer protection provision” and allow operators that offer betting alongside casino to “easily circumvent the deposit limits”.

The country first implemented the cap July 2020, over concerns of increased gambling during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

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