The Swedish gambling watchdog has imposed a fine of SEK400,000 to Glitnor Services, the operator of Lucky Casino after the gambling company was found guilty of offering games that are not legally allowed under Sweden’s Gambling Act.
According to Spelinspektionen, the offense was potentially severe, so it could have resulted in a much higher fine of up to SEK240 million. Still, the fact that the gambling company had reported the violation itself and had taken action to make sure that it would not be involved in a similar breach in the future. In this case, the regulatory body has accepted that a warning and a lower monetary penalty was sufficient punishment.
The breach was centered around the offering of several games – Dream Catcher, Money Wheel, Deal or No Deal and Monopoly Live. They went live on the operator’s Lucky Casino on July 1st, 2019 and were eventually removed from the online casino website on December 16th, 2019. Over the period when the games were offered, they were played by 478 players and accounted for a turnover of nearly €69,000.
The above-mentioned games were not like the standard slot format, so the Swedish gambling regulatory body concluded they were unsuitable to be called “slot games” under the definition set out in the country’s Gambling Act.
Glitnor’s Reaction to the Gambling Act’s Breach Earned It Lower Penalty
According to Spelinspektionen, the controversial games did not fit the definition of a slot game and were closer to a form of lottery games. However, offering such games would have violated the existing license held by Glitnor Services. Currently, the gambling operator is given legal permission to offer online casino and sports betting services only.
On the other hand, the games did not fit the definition of a lottery game under the provisions of the country’s Gambling Act, which basically means they should have never been rolled out for Swedish customers in the first place. As explained by the gambling watchdog, offering unlicensed games is considered a serious offense in the country because the gambling operator breached provisions associated with consumer protection. As confirmed by Spelinspektionen, the violation of the gambling laws had continued for around five months.
Still, the gambling regulatory body of the country took into account the fact that Glitnor Services had been quick to report the issue as soon as it had been identified. The gambling operator also implemented a new approval process regarding all new casino content. That was the reason why the watchdog decided there was no reason for it to believe that the company would repeat the breach in the future and it could impose a lower penalty combining a warning and a monetary fine.
Considering the fact that a penalty fee should be set between a minimum of SEK5,000 and a maximum that does not exceed 10% of the gambling company’s annual turnover, a fine of SEK240 million would have been justified. However, the way Glitnor Services responded to the violation affected Spelinspektionen’s final decision for the penalty, leaving the company to deal with a much lower fine of SEK400,000.