Swedish court upholds penalties against ComeOn brands

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Sweden’s Administrative Court in Linköping has upheld three penalties against ComeOn brands for violating bonus rules, while the penalty for a fourth of the operator’s brands was lowered from SEK50m to SEK40m.

All four businesses were handed penalty fees, alongside warnings, from Spelinspektionen in February 2021. Casinostugan was given a SEK25m (£2.16m/€2.49m/$3.00m) fee, ComeOn Sweden received a SEK35m penalty fee, while Hajper Ltd was issued with a fee of SEK50m. Snabbare Ltd paid the largest fee of SEK65m.

Operators licensed in Sweden may only offer players bonuses upon sign-up. However, all four were found to have provided bonus funds to existing players.

Reviews of a sample customer’s account found that Casinostugan had issued a player with a total SEK21,000 in bonus funds, in addition to free spins for online slots.

ComeOn was also found to have deposited a total of SEK40,000 to a sample player in bonus funds.

A review of one of Hajper’s customer accounts found the player had been given SEK7,400 in bonus funds by the operator, as well as free bets. A second customer received SEK13,500 from Hajper in addition to free spins.

Snabbare Ltd was found to have deposited SEK6,950 to a customer’s account in bonus funds and to have offered free spins to another player.

All four brands appealed the rulings, taking them to the Administrative Court in Linköping.

However, the court rejected the appeals of Casinostugan, ComeOn and Snabbare.

For Hajper, it determined that the business did issue a bonus in breach of the Gambling Act and thus that a penalty should be in place. However, it determined that the penalty should be lowered from SEK50m to SEK40m.

The Administrative Court considers that the companies have provided illicit bonuses by making cash deposits and in three of the cases also giving free games. The court also considers that the companies have breached their duty of care by providing bonuses at the same time as there have been indications of risky gambling.

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