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Svenska Spel Hit with Major Fine Following Welfare Failures

The online division of the state-owned Swedish gambling operator, Svenska Spel Sport & Casino, has been issued a fine of SEK100m ($9.5m) for several failures in ensuring player welfare.

The penalty stems from an investigation conducted by the country's gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, between October and December 2021 into various aspects of the company's operations. The regulator particularly reviewed how the operator managed the top 10 customers with the biggest losses during the specified period.

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According to the regulator, its findings revealed that Svenska Spel didn't implement adequate measures to protect players from excessive gambling and they failed to assist them in reducing their gambling activities when necessary. The shortcomings constitute a breach of Sweden's duty of care, as outlined in the country's Gambling Act, introduced in 2019.

Svenska Spel Accepts Fine, Rejects Assessment

In its response to the fine, the operator stated that it had already resolved some of the issues raised by the regulator. While it acknowledged the penalty fee, it did not agree with the authority's assessment, highlighting the need for clearer guidance and supervisory decisions from the regulator.

We take the Gambling Inspectorate's decision to heart. The inspection period covers October to December 2021 and we have already addressed many of the views. We have a high level of ambition in the work with our gaming responsibility. Since the duty of care was introduced in 2019, it has become clearer how it should be interpreted through the Gaming Authority's guidance and supervisory decisions. We have adjusted our work as the picture became clearer. We are constantly developing our work, our methods and our technical ability. Not only to live up to the legislation but also to our own high ambitions.

Fredrik WastensonSvenska Spel CEO

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Wastenson argued that Svenska Spel evaluates the risk of gambling-related issues by first conducting an "overall assessment of the customer's behavior which is based on evidence-based research, our own effect measurements as well as current legislation."

He concluded that the Swedish Gaming Authority's assessment diverged heavily from the current regulations and that the company will consider appealing against the decision.

Svenska Spel Responsible Gambling H2 2023 Results

Last month, Svenska Spel joined other operators like Kindred Group and ATG to publish their responsible gambling data for activities in Sweden during the second half of 2023.

According to the operator, it contacted 1.9% of its Swedish customers during the reporting period. Among those contacted, 74.8% reduced their gambling, with 49.7% decreasing their average deposits.

Additionally, 9.4% of the players the operator reached out to chose to self-exclude for a minimum of six months, while 3.7% chose longer durations.

RELATED TOPICS: Regulation

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