The Swedish Administrative Court has rejected two appeals launched by SkillOnNet and NGG Nordic against the financial penalties imposed on the gambling companies for breaching the country’s bonus ban.
At the beginning of the week, the Spelinspektionen issued an update revealing that the sanctions against the gambling operators had been upheld by the Administrative Court but the court had still made some minor changes to the Swedish Gambling Authority’s decisions.
The rejections of the two companies’ appeals would mean that the penalties that were originally faced by NGG Nordic and SkillOnNet would not be lifted.
NGG Nordic Fined SEK 14 Million for the Provision of “Illicit Bonus Offers”
The Swedish gambling regulator imposed a financial penalty worth SEK14 million on NGG Nordic after completing a thorough assessment of all circumstances relevant.
Spelinspektionen found that the gambling operator used to offer surprises every week, bonuses, free games and rewards, free spins, and raffle cash prizes to its loyal players as part of its special bonus offerings.
The country’s Gambling Authority had stated that the aforementioned offers of the gambling operator constituted financial incentives under the Swedish gambling law’s definition of bonuses. These incentives had been available on the NGG Nordic’s platform for more than 4 months after the provisions were passed into the gambling legislation. As a result, Spelinspektionen concluded that the company’s operations breached the country’s Gambling Act by the provision of “illicit bonus offers and lotteries”, which were not covered by the commercial online gambling permit held by the company.
Following the penalty, NGG Nordic announced that it would no longer provide players with such bonuses. The company confirmed that only a welcome bonus will be available to customers when they place a bet for the first time via its online gambling platform. Still, the company appealed the decision to the Administrative Court and the Appeals Court of Sweden, both of which turned down the plea.
SkillOnNet Forced to Pay SEK 14 Million in Regulatory Fine after Gambling Act Violations
The other online gambling operator – SkillOnNet – also suffered a SEK14-million monetary fine after the Swedish Gambling Authority determined that it was violating the same provisions of the country’s Gambling Act as NGG Nordic.
In its operations, SkillOnNet provided a great variety of free spins, cashback and VIP bonus packages, as well as daily bonuses and special rewards every month. All of them have been removed from its online gambling platform as of April 2019 after an investigation carried out by Spelinspektionen.
The Swedish Gambling Authority said that the assessment of SkillOnNet’s offers show they constituted financial incentives and discounts and thus, constituted bonuses. Players were also required to first register an account in order to become eligible for any of the bonuses provided by the online gambling operator. Unlike the case of NGG Nordic, the penalty of SkillOnNet was not amended by the court.
The gambling company confirmed that only a welcome bonus will be offered to its customers when they gamble via one of its websites for the first time. Such a bonus would be paid only once per customer, SkillOnNet said at the time.