Another William Hill online gambling operation seems to have experienced compliance issues in the Swedish market after the local regulator, Spelinspektionen, last week ordered Evoke Gaming to re-verify player accounts registered with its brands between January 2019 and July of the same year.
During a probe on Evoke’s activities in Sweden, the regulatory body identified a number of verification discrepancies related to players who registered in the above-mentioned period.
In a message on its official website dated September 15, the Swedish Gambling Authority instructed the operator to re-verify accounts that were created in the first half of 2019. The agency noted that under Sweden’s Gaming Act, only “natural persons who have a permanent address or long-term reside in Sweden” may register for online gambling. The country’s new gambling law took effect on January 1, 2019.
The investigation into Evoke focused on the company’s management of its licensing duties under the above cited law. The company as well as all other locally licensed online casino and betting operators are required to make sure their customers are verified to the standards outlined by the gambling act.
In compliance with the new regulatory regime, Evoke allowed its existing players at the time to “manually confirm” their details by presenting personal documents for ID-verification. In its recent ruling, Spelinspektionen said this was insufficient as the documents registered could not verify players’ address, IP and social security numbers as ID details that are required under the new gambling law.
Evoke Failed to Carry Out Mandatory Background Checks
Evoke informed Spelinspektionen that it had required its existing players to manually submit ID documents recommended by the Swedish Gambling Act, included drivers licenses, passports or national ID cards.
However, the regulator told the operator that under local regulations it was required to carry out background checks on its players and their social security numbers to verify with Sweden’s national self-exclusion program, Spelpaus.se.
Spelinspektionen ordered Evoke to submit a report with the agency no later than November 9, 2021 that must contain the measures the company has taken or plans to take to address the regulatory discrepancies outlined.
Evoke is licensed to operate the redbet.com, vinnarum.com, bertil.com, mamamiabingo.com, williamhill.com, williamhill.se gambling sites in the Swedish market. The gaming operator and its brands were acquired by Mr Green in late 2017 in a €7 million deal. Both Evoke and Mr Green became part of the larger William Hill group in early 2019.
Mr Green itself landed in hot water in Sweden. The operator was slapped with a SEK31.5 million (approx. $3.6 million) fine by Spelinspektionen over anti-money laundering and responsible gambling failings.
Source: Evoke Gaming Ltd is ordered to take control measures regarding the identification of players, Spelinspektionen Newsroom, September 15, 2021