Swedish Media reports that Kindred Group faces a high-profile Stockholm legal challenge summoned by fashion designer Per Holknekt.
Yesterday, Expressen.se reported that Holknekt, the founder of online fashion retailer Odd Molly, had filed a Stockholm Tingsrätt (Court District) lawsuit against Kindred Group and its Swedish subsidiary Spooniker Ltd.
Holknekt is reported to seek SEK 10m (€1m) in damages, accusing Kindred’s flagship Unibet brand of ‘fuelling his gambling addiction’, which subsequently “spiralled out of control”.
The fashion entrepreneur claims that during an eight-year spell he had “bet a total of SEK 55m and lost SEK 26m only at Unibet”.
In an interview with Resume.se taken during 2020, Holknekt reflected – “Each game was my own decision, but as a severe gambling addict, they knew skillfully, like a crack dealer, exactly how to play me to generate the highest possible profit, for the owners, prepared to sacrifice a human being.
“Every time I tried to quit, they sent me another fix. I was a very profitable and highly addicted VIP customer at Unibet. Something they have of course both seen and used, with their own methods.”
For the past two years, Holknekt claimed that he had been gathering deep data analysis, provided by GDPR excerpts, that will reveal a “long-list of control deficiencies and irregularities’ in how Kindred exploits gambling addiction and its shortcomings on money laundering duties.
“Unibet advocates responsible gambling and sustainability, but only as a sham; our analyzes show the exact opposite. Our numbers clearly demonstrate malpractices within the Kindred Group that even a tone-deaf person cannot miss,” – cited Holknekt.
“It has taken me many long years to break free from the addiction and finally now dare to speak openly about this, to expose Unibet/Kindred Group’s buried poison barrels.”
Meanwhile, alongside pension fund AP Fonden, the banks Nordea and Swedbank were lambasted as hypocrites for being the biggest investors in Swedish online gambling firms, whilst actively promoting social responsibility across their brands.
Holknekt, who has become a prominent campaigner for Swedish gambling reforms, believes that his legal challenge will demonstrate to MPs – why they must toughen online gambling controls to protect vulnerable citizens.
Kindred responded to Swedish Media and SBC that it was aware of legal proceedings but would make “no statement or comment.