Betway has lost its appeal to have the Swedish gaming inspectorate Spelinspektionen dismiss or decrease a fine of SEK 4.7 million (€460,000) imposed on them for bonus violations in 2019.
The Jönköping Court of Appeal agreed with Spelinspektionen that Betway had broken ‘Section 9′ of Sweden’s amended Gaming Act by offering players ‘recurred bonus incentives’ for additional deposits and free gaming play.
Sweden re-launched its online gambling regime in January 2019, limiting licenced operators to offering player bonuses as a one-time incentive for new customer sign-ups.
Violating the bonus terms of the Gaming Act
Following a Spelinspektionen inspection of customer incentives in Q1 2019, Betway and Mandalorian Technologies became the first operators to be fined for violating the bonus terms of the Gaming Act, receiving penalties of SEK 5 million and SEK 9 million, respectively.
After filing an appeal, Betway was originally successful in having the Spelinspektionen punishment reduced because the penalty did not correspond to its percent gross turnover.
However, Betway’s additional request to have the penalty lifted was dismissed by the Jönköping Court. Betway filed an appeal, claiming that its operations were adjusting to Spelinspektionen’s new player limits.
The court ruled with Spelinspektionen, as the regulator had written to all licenced operators prior to the start of the new online gaming system, reminding them of their responsibilities regarding bonus incentives, player promotions, and terms and conditions.
Several legal challenges were filed against Spelinspektionen in 2019 as licenced incumbents claimed that the regulating agency had not provided clear information on market technicalities such as promotions, restricted betting markets, and bonuses.