The Swedish Administrative Court in Linköping overturned last year’s decision by the regulator of the state that saw Casino Cosmopol receiving a fine of SEK 8 m ($880,000).
The state-owned Svenska Spel’s land-based branch, whose property extends to the towns of Sundsvall, Malmö, Göteborg and Stockholm, obtained the penalty fee for what the Spelinspektionen highlighted as failures in their efforts to combat money laundering.
It was mentioned in its original decision that a review “shows that Casino Cosmopol is lacking in its efforts to counter money laundering and terrorist financing in all audited areas. The shortcomings are serious and in many cases of a systematic nature”.
Risk-based practices, business relationships and customer protection steps, the duty to reject payments and to keep accurate records were among the key areas of concern highlighted.
The Administrative Court eventually reduced the penalty fee to SEK 3 m after Casino Cosmopol announced its intention to appeal the decision a short time after it received the sanction.
It was confirmed in a press release announcing the decision that: “The administrative court has essentially accepted the deficiencies identified by the Spelinspektionen and considered that there is reason to decide that the company should pay a penalty fee.
“However, based on an assessment of the nature, nature and extent of the violations, the administrative court has reduced the penalty fee to SEK 3m.”
The Swedish regulator revealed after the decision that they are considering appealing the new verdict.
“It is obvious for Casino Cosmopol to follow the money-laundering rules and we consider it vital to help prevent money laundering in all its forms,” explained Per Jaldung, chief executive officer of Casino Cosmopol, when the firm revealed it was to appeal the original ruling.
“In all the years we have pursued our four casinos, we have had the perception that we are following the money-laundering legislation. We have staff who work daily with questions. We have clear instructions and training all staff so they know how to act.
“All guests must show identification before entering the casinos and visits are recorded. We monitor, review and report suspicious transactions to the financial intelligence [department]. Our efforts to combat money laundering are ongoing.”