Eight gambling operators, including Flutter Entertainment and GVC Holdings, have fallen foul of Spelinspektionen after it was revealed that the operators had been offering betting markets on events where the majority of the players were under the age of 18.
Bet365, GVC, The Stars Group, Flutter Entertainment, Gaming Innovation Group (GiG), Bethard Group, Casinostugan Limited and Polar limited had all received both a warning, and subsequent penalty fees, which have amounted to SEK41.2m (£3.5m).
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 and betstars.se, was faced with the same penalty.
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 a number of betting brands including bethard.se, inandoutbet.com, scandibet.com and fastbet.com – was handed a SEK2.5m penalty.
Katarina Abrahamson, Coordinator against match fixing at The Swedish Gambling Authority, told SBC that the fines have been issued by the regulator in a bid 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.