Today the Swedish Gambling Authority issued a warning towards LeoVegas and imposed a fine of SEK 2 million (€197,497). The regulator claimed that the operator had breached its customer due diligence policy in several cases where Swedish players were involved. The accusations are based on LeoVegas’ operations in 2019 when the Swedish market became regulated.
In a press release, LeoVegas ensured that the company is constantly updating and improving its policies to comply with regulations imposed by the Swedish Gambling Authority. While the regulator has investigated the company’s operations only for 2019, LeoVegas informed that it has already changed and updated its due diligence routines.
LeoVegas announced its intention to appeal the regulators’ sanction, asking the court to review the Swedish Gambling Authority’s decision. The casino operator added that this case will also be helpful for the entire Swedish gambling industry, creating a better guideline on how the regulation is to be interpreted in the future.
According to the regulatory body, the fine of SEK 2 million (€197,497) is based on the Money Laundering Act, according to which, the highest possible sanction for this type of infringement is capped at €1 million. This is an unusual decision, as the regulatory body typically bases such sanctions on the Gambling Act.
To justify its decision, the regulatory body explained that the Money Laundering Act is strict with gaming operators that have been licensed to offer services under the Gaming Act. Gaming companies authorized to operate in Sweden are required to take measures to prevent money laundering or finance terrorism acts. Since the law is taking a risk-based approach, this means gaming operators are expected to base their measures on the size of the risks their customers are exposed to.
Swedish Regulator Accuses LeoVegas of Failings in Preventing Money Laundering and Finance Terrorism
The Swedish Gambling Authority reminded that gaming companies licensed to operate in Sweden are required to verify the identities of their customers and ask for enough information to be able to determine the risk levels for every individual user. If any of the customers is identified to belong to the high-risk group, the gaming company is expected to implement extensive problem gambling awareness measures. According to the regulator, however, LeoVegas did not comply with these requirements and breached customer due diligence routines.
The regulatory body claims that LeoVegas failed to assess the risk levels for its Swedish customers and did not provide enough information on the types of measures it took to protect high-risk individuals. As a result, this led to high risks that may have been used by the operator for conducting money laundering and finance terrorism. As a result, the Gaming Authority imposes a fine of SEK 2 million (€197,497) to LeoVegas.
As a company owning 14 brands and legally operating in eight different jurisdictions, LeoVegas is often reviewed by different regulatory bodies. This is why the operator is diligent in complying with the requirements of all of its licensors. LeoVegas announced that it will appeal the Swedish Gambling Authority’s decision as the warning and fine are based on a review solely on routines in 2019. Meanwhile, the operator has already amended and updated its customer due to diligence routines to comply with the regulator’s requirements.