The gaming regulator for Sweden is reportedly appealing an court decision that overturned sanctions it had earlier placed on prominent iGaming operator Kindred Group for breaking local rules regarding online casino deposit limits.
According to a Monday report from iGamingBusiness.com, the Spelinspektionen watchdog penalized the Malta-based operator in December after determining that sites run by its Spooniker Limited subsidiary were allowing Swedish punters to deposit more than a $585 weekly ceiling. The source detailed that this temporary six-month threshold was introduced in July before being extended by a further six months as a way to help limit problem gambling during the coronavirus pandemic.
Although Kindred Group reportedly did not dispute that Swedish punters were being permitted to deposit in excess of the $585 threshold at domains run by Spooniker Limited, it nevertheless argued that such customers were still not able to wager beyond this limit over the course of a week on online casino games. Consequently, the operator purportedly contended that anyone parking more than this maximum was likely enjoying its sportsbetting services, which are not covered by the deposit limit protocol.
The Administrative Court of Linkoping reportedly agreed with this defence earlier in the month to void a Spelinspektionen penalty that had hit the Spooniker Limited domains with injunctions as well as an around $117,140 fine for each week they operated without having closed the deposit limit loophole.
However, the regulator has now reportedly appealed this decision to the higher Administrative Court of Appeal in Jonkoping amid a claim that the court’s earlier interpretation of the online casino deposit limit stipulation would cause the safeguard to ‘lose its significance as a consumer protection provision.’ Lawyers working on behalf of the watchdog purportedly declared that this reading is moreover not fair under current competition rules because it allows iGaming firms to ‘easily circumvent deposit limits’ by offering sportsbetting as well as games of chance.
Read an official statement from the Spelinspektionen…
“The interpretation from the Administrative Court of Linkoping also means that a licensee that offers both commercial online gaming and betting can easily circumvent the deposit limits while a licensee who only offers commercial online gaming cannot do so.”
In related news and iGamingBusiness.com furthermore reported that the Swedish government floated a proposal earlier this month that could see the controversial deposit limit ceiling rule extended until November 14. The suggestion being fronted by Social Insurance Minister Ardalan Shekarabi would purportedly also prohibit operators from offering bonuses worth beyond $11.80 and make it mandatory for online casino players to set personal time limits.
Reportedly read a statement from Shekarabi…
“We see that the spread of coronavirus is still high in Sweden and the current situation entails great risks for consumers in the gaming market. We therefore need to act to reduce the risks for the most vulnerable consumers.”