Spelinspektionen orders 10 to withdraw from Swedish market
The Swedish Gaming Inspectorate (Spelinspektionen) has issued cease and desist orders to ten operators targeting Swedish consumers without a licence.
The ten businesses targeted by the regulator have been ordered to withdraw 45 brands in total from the market.
Offences identified by the regulator range from offering products in Swedish language and payments in Kronor, as well as marketing to local customers, both directly and via affiliates.
Of the ten, six are businesses headquartered in Curaçao, alongside two apiece from Cyprus and Malta.
Since December 2019, Spelinspektionen has ordered 21 operators in total to stop targeting players in the market, the highest profile of these being 1xBet.
According to the regulator’s strategy for tackling unlicensed activity, published in December last year, the order to leave the market is the first step in the enforcement process. Those that fail to comply will then be hit with fines, and should this fail to deter the operator, it will turn to the police.
Spelinspektionen can also apply for court injunctions to block payment providers from processing transactions for these sites.
The latest blocking orders have been issued as licensed operators are warning that new restrictions approved today (11 June) by the Swedish government will significantly benefit unlicensed operators.
An SEK5,000 weekly deposit cap, and SEK100 bonus cap, is to be imposed on online casino from 2 July until the end of the year, with the aim of protecting players restricted to their homes as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
However, licensees claim this will simply encourage players to gamble with unlicensed providers, where the limits are not applied, at a time when channelisation rates for the legal market are in decline.