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ATG cancels V75 World Cup over potential bonus rule breach

| By Robin Harrison
Sweden’s AB Trav och Galopp (ATG) has cancelled its World Cup competition for pool betting game V75 - after concluding that the format constituted an illegal bonus under the country’s gambling regulations.
Royal Ascot

ATG has organised the World Cup in V75 since 2011, but following the implementation of new gambling legislation from January 2019, the rules governing illegal bonuses have been significantly expanded, it said.

This meant that the tournament format, in which each of the first, second and third placed finishers are given a prize, could constitute an bonus offer for players.

The competition, which had been due to begin from 3 October, has been cancelled, with ATG admitting that it was unsure whether it would be run in 2021. 

“We are sorry that things have turned out this way, but it’s more important to do the right thing,” ATG head of horse race betting Nicklas Jonsson said. “The winnings for the first, second and third place in the competition could be interpreted as an illegal bonus, and a violation of gaming laws.”

Jonsson added it was “too early to say” if or when the V75 World Cup would return.

“We need to review the entire concept of the competition based on the new rules and therefore may need to change the structure,” he said.

Bonus regulations, which state that players may only be offered a single monetary incentive upon signing up for a gaming account, have been a particular point of contention in the market. This has seen a number of operators fall foul of the Swedish Gaming Inspectorate’s (Spelinspektionen) interpretation of the rules. 

This has seen a number of fines levied on licensees, many of which have been challenged in the Swedish courts. Most recently, in June, a quartet – Betway, Mandalorian Technologies, Aspire Global and Genesis Global – had their challenges heard. While Mandalorian and Aspire’s appeals were rejected, both Betway and Genesis had their fines lowered. 

In related news ATG’s V86 weekly pools game will be opened to Norwegian customers, through a new partnership with the country’s horse racing monopoly Norsk Rikstoto. 

The game, will now pool players from both countries, with Norsk Rikstoto to shift its weekly Wednesday pools to Tuesdays to avoid clashing with V86. The increased player pool will allow for even larger jackpots, ATG noted. 

“it is my great pleasure to welcome Norwegian customers to V86,” ATG head of international Ylva Svensson said. “There has been great demand for the game from Norwegian players, and [the agreement] will make V86 even more attractive to Swedish customers.”

Norsk Rikstoto’s commercial director Andre Heibo-Tuverud said the operator was excited to start a new era of cross-border collaboration through the agreement.

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