SBC News GiG suspends Swedish sportsbooks over 'lack of clarity' in regulations

GiG suspends Swedish sportsbooks over ‘lack of clarity’ in regulations

Online gambling firm Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has allegedly halted its sportsbook operations for its proprietary Rizk and Guts brands across Sweden, citing the country’s regulatory framework as the main reason.

As reported on igamingbusiness, GiG has argued that the current ‘lack of clarity’ in Swedish gaming laws has meant that the brands will ‘temporarily suspend’ all bets until there is further clarification of igaming regulations.

The operator has supposedly stated that it will honour bets that Swedish punters have wagered with the two sportsbooks, and has called upon the Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen to explain the ways in which it intends to implement the current regulatory framework.

GiG’s chief executive, Robin Reed, has reportedly stated that current igaming legislation is “too open to interpretation” and is subsequently resulting in operator uncertainty over compliance. 

“We find ourselves in an impossible position due to the lack of clarity in the Swedish gambling regulation,” GiG CEO Reed explained. “We have to protect the company and its shareholders from potential penalties from such vagueries.

“This action was taken because, ultimately, it is critically important for us to be compliant. So, we decided to temporarily suspend further bets until this can be clarified.

“We believe that the current rules for online sports betting are too open to interpretation, leaving uncertainty around whether an operator is in fact compliant or not. The recent fines issued by the Swedish regulator to GiG and multiple other peers demonstrate this overall uncertainty in the market.”

The operator has set out plans to reopen both sportsbooks following the ‘necessary’ clarification from the regulator, with sportsbook operations due to continue across all other markets. 

Reed also requested that Spelinspektionen suspends all other sportsbooks operating in Sweden until it can fully clarify the laws regarding sports betting in Sweden.

“We encourage the Spelinspektionen to amend the relevant rules so that they do not leave any room for misinterpretation and we would welcome the opportunity to collaborate on this,” Reed said.

“We have taken the lead on this and we also encourage the SGA to suspend all sportsbooks operating in Sweden until such clarification is provided.”

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