Swedish court rejects operators’ appeals over betting on underage athletes

A second court has rejected the majority of appeals from operators.
A second court has rejected the majority of appeals from operators.

The Swedish Court of Appeal has rejected eight appeals against sanctions for allowing sports betting on under 18s.

Sweden.- The Court of Appeal in Jönköping has rejected eight appeals from operators regarding sanctions for accepting bets on sports events that featured under 18s.

The operators in question received a combination of warnings and penalty fees from the national gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, in 2019 for offering bets on events in which under 18s participated. 

Betting on the performance of athletes aged under 18 is prohibited in Sweden, both in individual sports and in teams sports when the majority of players participating are aged under 18.

The licensees involved were Bet365, Betfair (Flutter) ComeOn, Coolbet (Polar), Entain, Hajper, Snabbare, The Stars Group Interactive and Zecure Gaming.

The operators originally appealed to the Administrative Court in Linköping. In April 2020, that court dismissed four of the appeals but annulled one of the sanctions and reduced the penalty fees in four cases.

Second appeals were then made to the Court of Appeal in Jönköping. It has now dismissed eight of the appeals but reduced the size of the penalty fees in two cases

It reduced the penalty for Flutter’s Betfair from SEK5.5m (€541,746) to SEK4.5m and reduced the fine for Polar’s Coolbet from SEK650,000 to SEK600,000. Coolbet’s fine had already been reduced from SEK700,000 by the court in Linköping.

The other fines remain as decided by Linköping after the previous appeals. 

The Stars Group, now owned by Flutter, must pay its original penalty fee of SEK10m. Bet365 must pay SEK10m and Cherry’s Snabbare must pay SEK8m (reduced from SEK 9.5m by Linköping).

Entain’s ElectraWorks and ComeOn must each pay SEK5.5m (ComeOn’s fine was lowered from SEK6.5m by Linköping). Haiper must pay SEK4m (reduced from SEK4.5m), Casinostugan SEK3.0m (reduced from SEK3m) and Zecure Gaming SEK3m (reduced from SEK3.5m).

Last week, Spelinspektionen warned ATG and Polar for breaching Sweden’s sports betting regulations. In ATG’s case, it the warning involved the offering of bets on a horse ridden by a jockey aged under 18. The operator self-reported the breach and was issued with a warning but no penalty fee.

Sweden’s SPER draws up best practice framework for igaming operators

At the end of June, the Swedish igaming association Spelbranschens Riksorganisation (SPER) published a draft outline of best practices for its members to follow regarding customer terms and conditions.

The body has drawn up a nine-point advisory framework after Sweden’s consumer agency  Konsumentverket criticised the licensed igaming market’s lack of alignment in standards in a report in December.

See also: BOS: Swedish igaming could benefit from government reset

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gambling regulation sports betting