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Swedish regulator sanctions Folkspel lottery over underage gambling

| By Robert Fletcher
Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has ordered lottery operator Folkspel to pay a sanction fee of SEK500,000 (£37,498/€44,406/$47,506) for allowing a minor to gamble.
Hitz Gaming Sweden

Last year Spelinspektionen received several tips that an underage player had taken part in Bingolotto, a televised lottery show run by Folkspel, on 23 December 2023.

Folkspel contacted Spelinspektionen in January to report the incident and confirm that a minor had called in to Bingolotto and participated in a game the previous month.

In a filing dated 25 June, Spelinspektionen said there had been no technical prerequisites to ensure identity or carry out age checks when a player called in to play Bingolotto. It said at the time there was no reason to suspect the ticket was bought by a minor, also noting its general conditions clearly state ticket buyers must be 18.

Folkspel admitted there had been similar issues in the past with underage players. However, it stated these callers held tickets belonging to another individual, usually a parent or guardian.

Following up on the case, Spelinspektionen sent a request for information to Folkspel in March. After an internal review, Folkspel made several changes to its operations to help ensure similar breaches do not occur again.

These changes include introducing a manual age check before players can participate in the Bingolotto game something that came into effect from 31 March.

It has also begun work on a technical solution to automatically check players’ social security numbers before they can play.

Sanction and warning for Folkspel

However, despite the changes, Spelinspektionen flagged an “undisputed” breach of rules and regulations by allowing a minor to gamble. 

Reflecting on additional cases regarding minors, the regulator highlighted the “lack of routines” to check players’ identity and ages, with this allowing underage gambling. It issued a warning to the operator alongside the fine.

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