Operators hit with Swedish injunctions for self-excluded ads

27 November 2019

The Swedish Consumer Agency (KO) has issued injunctions to William Hill-owned Mr Green and Karl Casino, a brand operated by L&L Europe Ltd, after ruling that they breached the country's Gaming Act by marketing to self-excluded consumers.

Mr Green and L&L Europe have been ordered to cease all communications with consumers who have signed up to Sweden's national self-exclusion system Spelpaus.

Should they continue to contact these players, the KO could issue each operator with a fine of SEK2m (£162,053/€189,388/$208,455).

“The law is very clear on this point; the idea is that players who want to pause or stop playing should be completely protected from direct inducements to gamble, as well as from getting advertising directly on mobile devices or via email,” KO process counsel Johanna Nyblom said.

In its ruling against Mr Green, the KO said a supervisory investigation against the operator in July found that it had contacted self-excluded players via direct mail and email.

Mr Green said communications were sent to the consumers in error, citing issues regarding the mapping of information between the customer database and the platform for mail. Mr Green said such errors have now been rectified, and that mail will no longer go out to customers who are registered with Spelpaus.

However, the KO said that as the operator sent advertising directly to players on the list, this was considered unfair and in breach of Swedish gaming laws. Under Chapter 15, Section 2 of the Gaming Act, marketing materials may not be sent to a player who has self-excluded.

The KO added that it would issue a fine of SEK2m if Mr Green were to continue to contact self-excluded consumers.

For L&L Europe, the KO opened a supervisory investigation against the operator in June and also found that it had contacted self-excluded players via direct mail and email.

L&L Europe responded by highlighting several cases of when it contacted these consumers – the first being when it contacted two players who did not register their personal identification numbers with the operator.

The operator put this down to internal human error, saying it has now updated its routines and added a code so that players who do not register social security numbers are automatically filtered out when data is exported for marketing measures.

In two other cases, L&L Europe said advertising was sent via a partner without its knowledge. The operator said it has since terminated its cooperation with this partner.

Again, the KO said that L&L Europe was in breach of Chapter 15, Section 2 of the Gaming Act and issued the injunction, threatening it with an SEK2m fine if it were to contact such consumers again.