For offering unauthorised bonuses and lotteries without a licence to players

Kindred receives sanction fee from the Swedish Gambling Authority

Kindred operates five gambling brands in Sweden: Unibet, Maria Casino, iGame, Bingo.com and Storspelare.
2020-03-18
Sweden
Reading time 1:08 min
Swedish gambling regulator has imposed a USD 9,5m penalty on Kindred Group subsidiary Spooniker for offering unauthorised bonuses on its website in Sweden in early 2019.

Spooniker Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kindred Group (previously Unibet Group) has today received a warning and a sanction fee in the sum of SEK 100 million (USD 9,5m) by the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) for offering customers financial incentives which are in breach of the new gambling legislation.

The regulator explained that checks on the operator’s Unibet, Maria Casino, Storspelare, Bingo and iGame sites revealed a number of unauthorised bonuses.

In its decision the SGA held that some of Spooniker’s offers, competitions and promotions are to be considered as financial incentives and therefore as bonuses. To offer these was according to the SGA contrary to the new gambling legislation. In accordance Swedish regulations, bonuses can only be offered to players when they sign up. 

Kindred initially made a different interpretation of what is considered a bonus and it is this interpretation which the SGA has disputed. During the spring in 2019, Kindred adopted a more restrictive interpretation of the law. Kindred will appeal the SGA’s decision to obtain judicial guidance on how the new legislation should be interpreted. Until recently issued warnings and fines issued to other licence holders are tried in court and enforced, Kindred will continue to adopt a strict interpretation.

"Kindred is of the opinion that the Swedish Gambling Act adopted on 1 January 2019 has been vague in areas related to commercial activities and thereby creating unnecessary ambiguity. Kindred welcomes more clarity in these areas and continues to improve its operations to ensure full compliance," said the company in a statment published today.

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