Swedish Regulator Clears bet365, Three Other Operators of Taking Bets on Underage Athletes
Category : News
Spelinspektionen cleared four gambling operators that were previously investigated for taking bets on the individual performance of underage athletes, a type of wagering activity that is prohibited under Sweden’s gambling law.
The four locally licensed operators that landed in hot water earlier this year but were cleared of wrongdoing by the Swedish gambling watchdog were bet365, Betsson, Kindred Group’s subsidiary Spooniker, and the state-run racing monopoly AB Trav och Galopp (ATG).
Spelinspektionen said in a statement on its official website that it has closed a probe into the four operators after discovering that their local activities had not violated Swedish law.
How Events Unfolded
Earlier this year, the Swedish gambling regulator issued warnings to several of its licensees, urging them to make sure that their activities are compliant with local rules and regulations and that they do not accept wagers on sports where the majority of competitors are athletes under the age of 18.
In July, Spelinspektionen announced that it had imposed fines on eight locally licensed operators after discovering that these had taken bets on underage athletes. The eight penalized operators were local subsidiaries of Flutter Entertainment, Bethard, Casinostugan, GVC Holdings, bet365, Polar Limited, The Stars Group, and Gaming Innovation Group.
Of the eight operators, The Stars Group and bet365 were each slapped with record fines of SEK10 million (just over $1 million).
Following Spelinspektionen’s regulatory action, Gaming Innovation Group suspended its Swedish sportsbook operation, saying that it had found itself “in an impossible position due to the lack of clarity in the Swedish gambling regulation” and that it should protect itself and its shareholders from any potential regulatory troubles resulting from “such vagueries.” GiG further argued that in its current form, Sweden’s gambling law is “too open for interpretation.”
A Closer Inspection
In a statement on its official website from Thursday, Spelinspektionen said that after a closer inspection, it has decided to close its investigation into bet365, Betsson, Kindred, and ATG. The probe aimed to discover whether the four operators have accepted bets on the individual performance of minors in football matches where the majority of contestants were aged 18 or over.
The regulator said that the gaming companies have not violated the terms of their licenses because the football players that were taking part in the contested events were largely aged 18 or over.
Spelinspektionen further pointed out that it was mulling regulations, bans, and restrictions aimed at penalizing match-fixing and other threats to the integrity of Swedish sports. The ongoing discussions involve taking bets on the individual performance of underage athletes and would aim to bring more clarity to that portion of Sweden’s gambling regulations, it also became known.
Source: Tillsynsärenden gällande matchfixning avslutas, Spelinspektionen.se
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