The Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen) has decided to lodge an appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision to reduce the fines issued to gambling operators Genesis Global and AG Communications. The court’s decision would see the penalties reduced by more than half.
The fines were issued in 2019 for what Spelinspektionen described as a breach of the operators’ obligation to connect their services to Spelpaus, Sweden’s self-exclusion tool.
Genesis received a warning and fine of SEK4M for failing to connect its Casino Joy, Play.com, and Sloty sites to the Spelpaus while AG Communications received a similar warning and fine of SEK3M for the same breach on its Karamba and Mr. Play websites. After both companies lodged an appeal against the severity of the fines, the Court of Appeal decided that the usual process of using turnover to determine a fine wasn’t appropriate in this case and reduced the fines by half to SEK2M and SEK1.5M respectively.
However, both operators decided to lodge a further appeal to the Jönköping Court of Appeal. This second appeal then resulted a further reduction leaving the companies each with an SEK1M fine for their breaches.
When lodging its appeal against the latest reduction, Spelinspektionen stated that any decision to reduce penalties could have a detrimental effect on its ability to issue appropriate fines to gaming operators that breach the country’s gambling regulations.
In a statement released on the Spelinspektionen website, the regulator said:
“The penalty fees decided by the Court of Appeal are too low in relation to the seriousness of the infringement and the companies’ turnover. In order for penalty fees to be dissuasive and proportionate, it is necessary to take the companies’ turnover into account when determining the size of the penalty fee.”
The news of Spelinspektionen’s appeal comes shortly after a court ruled that regulator cannot enforce an SEK20M fine it issued to online operator Betsson for an alleged violation of the Swedish Gaming Act.
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