Sweden issues licence threat over self-exclusion failings

15 January 2019

Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen has threatened to begin rescinding online gambling licences of operators that do not comply with the Spelpaus.se self-exclusion scheme.

The regulator has noted a series of failings since Sweden launched its regulated market on January 1 and has now ordered operators to adjust their systems or risk being removed from the regulated market.

Licensed operators in the country are required to make checks against the Spelpaus.se register before allowing customers to gamble online. Should the player have self-excluded, the operator is to immediately block their access to the site.

More than 10,000 people have signed up to the register, which was introduced in Sweden to coincide with the opening of the country's regulated iGaming market on January 1. 

“If the gaming companies fail to check and stop players who have self-excluded, it can be considered a serious violation of the regulations, which could mean that the gaming company will lose its license,” Spelinspektionen said.

However, not all operators that fail to comply with the self-exclusion scheme will automatically lose their licence. Spelinspektion could alternatively issue fines, if it considers this to be sufficient punishment. Such financial penalties could amount to up to 10% of the licence-holder's turnover.

Last week, Spelinspektionen named Genesis Global and AG Communications, a subsidiary of Aspire Global, as two licensed operators that had breached the self-exclusion regulations. Both companies were found to have allowed people who had signed up to the scheme to access gambling services.

Genesis has since integrated with the register, putting the initial issue down to a third party’s system failing to integrate with Spelpaus.se. The company also said it has contacted and refunded all affected players, closing all of the accounts in question.

“Genesis always takes compliance and responsible gambling at the core of its business operations in order to ensure a safe gaming environment to its players," Genesis said. "Therefore, any regulatory requirements and guidelines are being treated as highest priority.”

Aspire Global has not yet responded to a request from iGamingBusiness.com to clarify whether it has taken similar steps.