The Swedish Gambling Authority has filed an appeal questioning the computation of AG Communications’ and Genesis Global’s penalty fines.
This comes after the Court of Appeal in Jönköping recently lowered the penalty charge despite admitting to “a serious violation,” stating that the magnitude of the penalty fee should be set based on the nature of the infraction rather than the companies’ turnover.
AG Communications and Genesis Global were found to have been disconnected from the Spelpaus.se national self-exclusion register for 33 and nine days, respectively, in April 2019.
After the Spelinspektionen was contacted by individuals who had been able to play on its brands despite having registered for self-exclusion, the former, which provides games through its flagship Karamba casino as well as ten other brands, received a penalty fee of SEK 3 million (£247,000) as well as a warning into future conduct.
In addition, Genesis Global, which owns Casino Joy and Vegas Hero, was found to have committed similar offences and was fined SEK 4 million (£329,427). In each case, the Court of Appeal lowered the sanction charge to SEK 1 million.
Following that, the Spelinspektionen stated its intention to appeal the decisions to the Supreme Administrative Court, claiming that it “does not share the Court of Appeal’s interpretation of the provisions on penalty fees.”
The alternative fees decided by the Court of Appeal, according to the regulator, are “too low” in comparison to the seriousness of the infringement and the companies’ sales.
Dissuasive and proportionate
It goes on to say that in order for penalty costs to be dissuasive and appropriate, the level of the penalty must be based on the company’s turnover.
Furthermore, the Spelinspektionen claims that the Court of Appeal’s conclusion “contravenes both the principle of proportionality and the norm of equal treatment.”
The SGA confirmed its intention to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Administrative Court in a public statement: “The question of how the sanction fee is to be determined is of decisive importance for all decisions according to ch. Section 12 of the Gaming Act, which is combined with a penalty fee.
“For the management of the application of law, it is therefore of great importance that the judgments of the Court of Appeal are taken up for review by the Supreme Administrative Court.”