Sweden’s gambling regulator could face another court battle with LeoVegas declaring its intention to appeal an SEK 2m ($238,303) fine issued for breaching the Money Laundering Act. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A new fine for LeoVegas
LeoVegas is the latest gambling company to receive a financial penalty from the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA). Sweden’s national gambling regulator has issued LeoVegas with an SEK 2m ($238,303) fine for breaching the country’s Money Laundering Act.
failed to counteract the use of its business to launder money or finance terrorism
The SGA, locally known as the Spelinspektionen, announced the penalty on its website Tuesday. According to the ruling, LeoVegas failed to counteract the use of its business to launder money or finance terrorism. It judged that the online casino operator conducted ineffective due diligence in regards to its customers in 2019.
Later that day, LeoVegas, which offers online casino games in Sweden via gogocasinos.com and leovegas.com, announced its intention to appeal the penalty “in order to allow a court to review the matter.”
Operator makes its case
In a statement released in response to the ruling, LeoVegas made clear that it disagrees with the SGA’s decision. The operator argued that the alleged breach of due diligence routines occurred during the first year of Sweden’s re-regulated market in 2019. Since then, LeoVegas said it has updated its procedures to comply with Swedish law.
Compliance has top priority at LeoVegas”
Noting its 14 brands and licenses in eight separate markets, the company also reaffirmed its commitment to complying with local gambling regulation. “Compliance has top priority at LeoVegas and is an area the company is continually developing in order to meet the requirements that regulators – but also the company itself – puts on its operations,” the statement read.
Now LeoVegas has decided to appeal the decision, it will go to the Swedish Administrative Court. The court has ruled on a number of appeals against penalties issued by the SGA since the market’s re-regulation, recently favoring Kindred Group in a dispute over casino deposit limits.
Other SGA rulings
Other gambling companies in the Swedish market have received much larger fines than LeoVegas over the past year.
In February, four gambling brands owned by operator ComeOn Group received financial penalties totaling SEK 175m ($20.9m). The SGA accused Snabbare, Hajper, ComeOn Sweden, and Casinostugan of offering illegal bonuses to customers after thir first participation in a game, breaching the country’s Gambling Act. Unlike LeoVegas, ComeOn does not intend to appeal the fines.
a Swedish Administrative Court judge deemed the penalty proportionate to the transgression
Meanwhile, gambling operator Betsson received an SEK20m ($2.4m) fine in June last year for allowing its customers to fund online casino accounts using retail vouchers. The company argued that it offered the retail vouchers “in line with the applicable law,” but it has since lost its appeal against the penalty. In December, a Swedish Administrative Court judge deemed the fine proportionate to the transgression.