Swedish consumer ombudsman to file lawsuit against Aspire

2 October 2019

Online gaming solutions provider Aspire Global’s Karamba brand has been named as the subject of a lawsuit from Swedish consumer agency Konsumentombudsmannen (KO), who have accused Karamba of violating the marketing provisions of Sweden’s Gaming Act and Marketing Act.

On Monday (30 September), KO announced its intention to file a lawsuit against Aspire in Sweden’s Patent and Marketing Court against the marketing of bonus spins on Karamba games, which the KO considered to be misleading.

“The company promises bonuses and free spins that, in practice, force the player to play with too large sums, or else the money is lost,” KO said.

KO said that Aspire was misleading in its promotion of free bonus spins on its games by advertising bonuses that can only be achieved by playing with very large sums of money.

“In its advertising, the company promises SEK 2,000 (£165/€185/$202) in bonuses and 100 free spins,” the KO said. “But in order to take advantage of the offer, a player must invest at least SEK 70,000, the bonus must be redeemed 35 times within 21 days and you only have one day to use free spins.”

“In addition to violating the Gaming Act, KO considers that the company is in violation of the Marketing Act, the gambling industry's own guidelines and the recommendations of the European Commission.”

The KO added that the terms and conditions were in very small print and not all in one place, making it difficult for players to understand the terms of the bonus spins.

“No information or reference has been provided in connection with the offer that it is subject to terms and conditions for consideration. Instead, the terms and conditions have been placed on the site with no objection small and difficult to read text.”

The KO recommended Aspire receive a fine and the advertisements be discontinued.

However, Aspire hit back at the lawsuit in a release today (2 October), stating that it intends to contest any legal action and that its marketing efforts fit the definitions of “moderate marketing” permitted in the Gaming Act.

“We dispute that the bonus offerings contravene the requirements of moderate marketing in the Gaming Act and we are critical to having been chosen as the subject to KO’s enforcement in this manner. If the court issues a lawsuit, Aspire Global will object to KO’s interpretation of the law”, says Tsachi Maimon, CEO of Aspire Global.”

In August, Aspire Global announced that its revenue increased 76.5% in the first half of 2019, to €66m.