Sweden Hits Mandalorian & Betway With Heavy Fines
Sweden’s online gambling market is growing rapidly and the country’s gambling watchdog is being extra careful to ensure that all licensed iGaming operators stay fully compliant of gaming regulations.
Two companies that did not toe the line of compliance were Mandalorian and Betway. Sweden allows online gambling websites to offer new players bonuses as online casinos are always looking to attract new players by offering them freebies.
Swedish gaming regulator Spelinspektionen found that Mandalorian and Betway not only offered sign-up bonuses to new players but went on to offer existing players more bonuses which is against gaming regulations.
Betway has been hit with a heavy fine as Spelinspektionen fined them operator SEK 5 million which is a little over 400 thousand pounds. Mandalorian has been hit with almost twice that amount as the gaming regulator imposed a SEK 9 million fine. Both operators have also received a stern warning from the gaming regulator regarding their conduct and non-compliance.
Mandalorian targets the Swedish market through its PrankCasino.com and NoAccountCasino.com websites while Betway operates its Betway.se site.
Sweden Takes A Tough Stance
The heavy fines will definitely send a strong message to the Swedish iGaming market. Spelinspektionen had sent out a warning in Feb 2019 informing all online gambling operators to pay special attention to regulations and be compliant at all times. While many gambling regulators issue small fines, Sweden has decided to issue 6 figure fines!
Spelinspektionen found that Mandalorian And Betway had made changes to their policies to comply with the warning but overlooked some of the major regulations.
In a statement, the gambling watchdog said
The main purpose of the new gambling regulation, which came into force on January 1, 2019, is to strengthen consumer protection and reduce the negative effects of gambling. The limitation on bonuses is contained in the law to reduce social and economic damages and problem gambling. The Spelinspektionen will therefore continue to focus on supervision of this area.
Swedish online casino tends to offer welcome bonuses in the form of free spins or free cash to give players an incentive to sign-up at their casinos and test out their games for free. While these welcome bonuses are permitted, online casinos are not allowed to offer any freebies to existing customers as Spelinspektionen considers this a form of enticement where players are encouraged to bet more through these free bonus offers.
Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world