Betsson and SkillOnNet penalised for Swedish bonus violations

27 June 2019

Betsson’s NGG Nordic subsidiary and PlayOjo operator SkillOnNet have been found to have violated Swedish bonus restrictions, resulting in hefty penalties for each operator.

The country's gambling regulator Spelinspektionen found that each licence holder had breached regulations by offering players bonuses on multiple occasions. The regulations that came into force from January 1 restrict operators to offering one bonus per player upon sign-up.

The review of NGG Nordic’s NordicBet site by the Spelinspektionen discovered bonus offers in a range of different forms, including weekly surprises, cash prize draws, free spins, and free games. It also found that NGG Nordic had been organising lottery games, something which is not covered by its igaming and online wagering licence.

The regulator said that such promotions had been offered for as long as four months after the one-bonus restriction came into effect. As a result of repeated violations, Spelinspektionen issued a warning and a penalty fee of SEK19m (£1.6m/€1.8m/$2.0m).

However Betsson has pledged to appeal the fine. It said it believed the offering was compliant with Swedish legislation, though had made changes following Spelinspektionen's intervention.

It described the regulation on bonuses as "vague", and easily interpreted in a range of different ways. By appealing the fine, it aims to have the Swedish courts provide guidance on how the bonus restrictions should be interpreted.

SkillOnNet, which operates multiple brands in the market including PlayOjo, RedKings and SlotsMagic, was found to have offered daily bonuses, monthly rewards, cashback, free spins and VIP packages across its network. It too was found guilty of organising lotteries online, which is not covered by its igaming licence. This saw it warned, and hit with an SEK14m penalty fee.

In related news Multilotto operator Multi Brand Gaming has been ordered to remove information on betting on a lottery that another licensee was approved to offer from its website. In addition, Spelinspektionen felt it was not sufficiently clear that it offered betting on lotteries through Multilotto, and not the ability to participate in lottery draws.

Following this review, Multi Brand Gaming has corrected the information on its website, so it is no longer considered to be in breach of licence requirements.

Spelinspektionen has taken an increasingly strict stance towards operators found to violate licence conditions. Betway and Mandalorian Technologies have already been hit with SEK5m and SEK9m penalties respectively for offering more than one bonus to players, while Lottoland was fined SEK700,000 for offering odds of lotteries organised by Svenska Spel.