Spelinspektionen, the gambling regulatory body of Sweden, has decided to reprimand the horse racing and sports betting operator AB Trav och Galopp (ATG). The company is also set to pay a monetary penalty of SEK2 million because of some shortfalls in its self-exclusion option.
On February 15th, 2022, the gambling company informed the Swedish gambling regulator that customers were unable to use the self-exclusion functionality if they logged in to its online betting platform via mobile bank ID in the period from January 13th to January 28th. At the time, ATG cited a technical issue as the reason for the situation. The company found out there was a problem with the self-exclusion feature on January 27th and took care of the tech problem on the following day, January 28th.
The horse racing and sports betting company was unable to cite the exact number of players who wanted to use the self-exclusion function during the aforementioned period but said that customers were unable to use the feature because of the technical issue in question. ATG has eventually estimated that about 100 players may have been affected by the problem.
It is important to note that players who logged in to the company’s online gambling platform with their username or bank ID were able to access the self-exclusion functionality during the period from January 13th to January 28th. The self-exclusion feature was also available via customer service, which was contacted by three individuals in the aforementioned period. The link to the self-exclusion system offered by the country’s gambling watchdog – Spelpaus – also worked properly at the time.
As ATG explained, the technical issue has been resolved. The company put in place new measures and procedures so that it avoided further occurrence of the problem.
The Technical Error Remainned Unnoticed by the Company for 14 Days
Under the provisions of the Swedish Gambling Act, a licensed online gambling platform needs to make sure that the self-exclusion feature is visible and accessible from all pages. This basically means that AB Trav och Galopp has violated this specific regulatory provision.
Providing customers with the chance to have access to the self-exclusion feature and to be actually able to ban themselves from gambling either through the online gambling company’s website or via Spelinspektionen’s self-exclusion system is an extremely important part of a company’s gaming responsibility code. So, having this in mind would mean that the technical issue that made access to the self-exclusion feature impossible for players who logged in via mobile bank ID was a serious breach of the aforementioned responsibility.
Sweden’s gambling regulator has taken into account the fact that the company did not find out about the problem immediately but still took care of the issue and resolved the error as quickly as possible. However, the watchdog does not believe it should a blind eye to the deficiency of this nature, even though it had been caused by a technical error. The online gambling operator found out about the problem 14 days after its occurrence, and a large number of customers may have been affected.
Because of the seriousness of the failure, Spelinspektionen has decided to impose a fine of SEK2 million on ATG. Under the Swedish Gambling Act, monetary penalties may vary in the range from SEK5,000 and up to 10% of an operator’s turnover for the previous financial year (which in the case of ATG meant 2021 gross gaming revenue of SEK5.5 billion.