Videoslots became the last company to prevail in a struggle to obtain a Swedish licence for a total duration of five years, after a two-year green light was first awarded by regulator Spelinspektionen.
Overturned by the Linköping Administrative Court, the decision was made to issue a shorter licence because the firm was subject to’ penalties for its gaming operations in the United Kingdom.’
It refers to a November 2018 deal that saw an inquiry by the UK Gambling Commission find flaws in the company’s anti-money laundering and restrictions on social responsibility.
A legal settlement saw Videoslots pay the National Responsible Gambling Strategyproject(s) £ 1 m instead of a financial penalty to pay for research and treatment as deemed sufficient to mitigate the risk of unsafe gambling.
In its conclusion, the UKGC stressed that the following considerations were taken into account in deciding the correct outcome:
- Proactive and timely action taken by Videoslots to address all the issues identified.
- Videoslots being open and transparent from the outset of the investigation and fully co-operative throughout.
- A demonstrable insight into the seriousness of the failings.
The online casino operator stressed the above three points in its Swedish appeal, arguing that “the UK supervision case cannot be regarded as a reason to deviate from the normal licence period of five years”.
It was also said that the regulator “had not been consistent in its licensing,” noting that “several companies that have been granted five-year licences [that] have been sentenced to pay fines abroad”.
One particular case illustrated in Sweden is that of Casino Cosmopol, with Svenska Spel’s land-based subsidiary being prosecuted for shortcomings in its policies against money laundering. A five-year licence was awarded to Svenska Spel.
Approving the appeal, it was decided that the licence term will now continue to cover the period from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2023.