Compliance

Swedish regulator revokes Svenska Spel licence for slots at Sundsvall

| By Conor Mulheir
The Swedish Gaming Inspectorate (Spelinspektionen) has revoked the licence of Svenska Spel to operate gaming machines at the Lucky Bar restaurant casino in Sundsvall.

The regulator said that the police in Västernorrland – the county where Sundsvall is located – had previously indicated that during the period from January to September in 2020, police patrols filed 92 reports linked to Lucky Bar. These included reports of threats and violence, of which about 25 were directly connected to the venue.

On 21 January, Spelinspektionen rejected an application for a licence to operate casino games at Lucky Bar Sundsvall due to disorder at the venue.

Notice that the regulator was considering the revocation of its licence was sent to Svenska Spel on 11 January, and on 29 January the operator was given an additional opportunity to comment on the incident reports received by the police.

The operator submitted statements on 18 January and 12 February, claiming, among other things, that the venue’s staff have always handled their commitments correctly, and that Svenska Spel had performed an observation check on 6 February which was approved without comment.

While slot machines can be offered in venues other than casinos under Swedish regulations, one of the requirements is that “there is a state of good order in the place where the game is to be conducted.”

In order to determine whether Svenska Spel should lose its licence for the venue, Spelinspektionen said it took into account how close in time the incidents of disorder occurred, the number of incidents during the year, the extent to which they have been linked to the venue and the nature of the disturbances.

Spelinspektionen considered that due to the frequency and severity of the crimes reported in relation to Lucky Bar, the venue cannot be considered to be in “a state of good order”.

The regulator therefore revoked Svenska Spel’s licence to operate slots at the venue.

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