SBC News Spelinspektionen lowers Kindred bonus infringement penalty to SEK 30m

Spelinspektionen lowers Kindred bonus infringement penalty to SEK 30m

The penalty given to Kindred Group by Sweden’s gambling authority Spelinspektionen in 2020 has been reduced by a combined total of SEK 70m (£5m).

Four years ago, the regulator issued a SEK 100m sanction to Kindred subsidiary Spooniker Ltd over bonus rules violations that took place in 2019. 

According to the ruling, Spooniker had put out offers, competitions and promotions that represented financial incentives and therefore could have been considered as bonuses. 

Other Kindred assets such as Unibet, Maria Casino, bingo.com, Storspelare and iGame also fell short of Spelinspektionen’s regulations on bonus promotions and incentives. 

As per Sweden’s Gambling Act, limits are currently set for only one bonus offer per customer on sign-up.

The violations were accumulated by Kindred offering incentives through in-game mechanics, poker/casino tournament rewards, prize draws and loyalty programmes. 

Throughout the whole period, Stockholm-listed Kindred has maintained that all of its Sweden-facing loyalty programmes and reward mechanisms have been independently reviewed, not triggering any issues. 

The online group then issued a statement confirming that it will challenge the decision in court. 

It said: “Kindred will appeal the SGA’s decision to obtain judicial guidance on how the new legislation should be interpreted. Until recently issued warnings and fines issued to other licence holders are tried in court and enforced, Kindred will continue to adopt a strict interpretation.

“Kindred is of the opinion that the Swedish Gambling Act adopted on 1 January 2019 has been vague in areas related to commercial activities and thereby creating unnecessary ambiguity. Kindred welcomes more clarity in these areas and continues to improve its operations to ensure full compliance.”

A subsequent appeal by Kindred to the Administrative Court successfully managed to reduce the sanction to SEK 50m. The latest development has now further shrunken this to SEK 30m – for a combined reduction of SEK 70m. 

 

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