Eight online gambling operators including Flutter Entertainment (Paddy Power Betfair) and GVC Holdings, have been sanctioned by the Spelinspektionen after being found to be offering sports betting on events involving players under the age of 18.
Bet365, GVC, The Stars Group, Flutter Entertainment, Gaming Innovation Group (GiG), Bethard Group, Casinostugan Limited and Polar limited received penalty fees totalling SEK41.2m (£3.5m).
Betfair International, which holds a license for its betfair.se site, was hit with a penalty fee of SEK5.5m (£467,000), while Bethard Group – which operates bethard.se, bethard.com, inandoutbet.com, inandoutcasino.com, turbico.com, esportsbetting.com, scandibet.com, nightrush.com, sverigecasino.com, sirjackpot.com, livelounge.com, sverigekasronan .com, betive.com, fastbet.com – was faced with a SEK2.5m fine.
Hillside ENC – which holds the Swedish licence for bet365 – was among the operators that faced the highest penalty after being hit with a penalty fee of SEK10m. TSG Interactive, which holds the license for pokerstars.se, pokerstarscasino.se, fulltilt.se, betstars.se, was faced with the same penalty.
Katarina Abrahamson, Coordinator against match fixing at The Swedish Gambling Authority, told AffiliateINSIDER that the fines come as a move by the regulator to ‘protect’ underage players from the influence of gambling.
The infractions, which Abrahamson has described as a ‘serious breach’ of Swedish law, have led the gaming operators to implement various measures in ensuring that future betting takes place in accordance with the country’s gaming laws, for example by not offering games on U19 and U21 series.
Abrahamson explained that Swedish law strictly prohibits the wagering of bets on matches featuring players or athletes who are not yet of a legal gambling age – which is currently 18.