Reduced fines for bet365’s Swedish subsidiaries

Garance Limouzy 1 month ago
Reduced fines for bet365’s Swedish subsidiaries

In a recent decision, the Administrative Court of Linköping in Sweden has slashed the fines imposed on bet365, despite objections from the regulator.

Initially set at SEK 79 million ($7.57 million) in 2023 by the Swedish regulator for various gambling compliance failures, the fines for bet365’s Swedish subsidiaries, Hillside (Sports) and Hillside (Gaming), have been reduced to SEK 44 million ($4.2 million).

Breaches in the duty of care

The Swedish gambling authority (Spelinspektionen) originally fined the subsidiaries due to concerns over inadequate player protection measures. According to Spelinspektionen, bet365 plans “lacked a description of what measures should be taken in the event of excessive gambling for young players and for those who had previously been suspended.” Violations also included allowing customers to gamble without implementing mandatory daily, weekly, and monthly deposit limits, as required by Swedish law.

An illustrative case involved a player under Hillside (Gaming) making 44 deposits and 36 withdrawals within a month, resulting in significant financial losses, yet no deposit limits were enforced.

Contesting the fine

bet365 contested the fine, arguing that Spelinspektionen’s findings were based on a small sample of customer accounts that does not accurately represent its extensive global operations. With over 90 million customers worldwide, bet365 maintained that achieving absolute compliance with regulatory standards is challenging at such scale. bet365 also criticised Spelinspektionen’s criteria as ambiguously defined.

bet365’s attorneys declared: “The reviewed cases have not been placed in a wider operational context and the basis is not sufficient in relation to Hillside’s customer base to be able to establish that Hillside has been guilty of systematic breaches of the duty of care or to be able to draw any conclusions about Hillside’s overall compliance with the duty of care.

“Focusing only on a few individual shortcomings without putting them in context risks making the Swedish Gaming Authority’s supervision arbitrary.”

Despite objections from Spelinspektionen, the Administrative Court of Linköping favoured bet365’s appeal.

SiGMA East Europe Summit powered by Soft2Bet, will take place in Budapest from 2-4 September 2024.

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