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Sweden’s Administrative Court Reverses SEK6-Million Gambling Regulatory Penalty against ATG

Sweden’s Administrative Court overturned the financial penalty against AB Trav & Galopp (ATG) after an appeal of the sanction was filed by the betting and horseracing operator in court.

The beginning of the week saw the country’s gambling regulator – Spelinspektionen – announce that a fine it previously imposed on the aforementioned company, has been officially invalidated by the Administrative Court in Linköping. The monetary penalty was faced by ATG in November 2022, when the Swedish Gaming Authority imposed the fine along with a warning over alleged anti-money laundering failures.

At the time when it issued the fine, Spelinspektionen revealed that it had uncovered that AB Trav & Galopp had breached some provisions of the country’s Money Laundering Act. The violations eventually resulted in the aforementioned warning, as well as a SEK6-million fine. At the time, the gambling watchdog revealed that out of 13 customers who became subject to more intense probes, the investigations found a total of eight cases of more serious deficiencies.

After the financial penalty and the warning were announced by the Swedish Gaming Authority, ATG made a decision to take the matter to court and appeal the regulatory body’s ruling. This has taken the matter to the Administrative Court, which reviewed the case and some evidence that was further presented by the interested parties.

Spelinspektionen Failed to Prove “Repeated and Systematic” Failures on Gambling Operator’s Part, Court Rules

As mentioned above, Spelinkspektionen originally revealed there were eight cases of more serious deficiencies out of 13 customers that were checked more thoroughly as part of the investigation. According to the regulator, AB Trav & Galopp failed to work sufficiently in order to make an adequate assessment of the situation and counter the risk of the betting and horseracing operator being used for illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing.

The findings resulted in a financial penalty and warning faced by the operator.

However, in its latest statement, the Administrative Court in Linköping said it believes that Sweden’s gambling regulatory body failed to prove that the alleged violations of the gambling company were repeated or systematic.

After it received the ATG’s appeal, the Administrative Court checked the facts and the evidence provided by the regulator. Although Spelinspektionen claimed that the uncovered violations of the Swedish Money Laundering Act were serious and systematic, the court disagreed. As mentioned above, the court objected to the gambling watchdog’s claims, saying that none of the data provided as a result of the regulatory probe indicated that the breaches were repeated or systematic. Furthermore, the Administrative Court’s ruling said that a monetary penalty was not a sanction that would appropriately match the violations of the betting and horseracing company, which, according to the court, were not that serious either individually or collectively.

That was the reason why the Administrative Court decided to side with ATG’s appeal and reverse the decision of the Swedish Gaming Authority.

That ruling was welcomed by the CEO of AB Trav & Galopp, Hasse Lord Skarplöth. The company’s boss also said that the decision raises a lot of questions about the strategy of Spelinkspektionen and noted that the country’s gambling watchdog was supposed to support local gambling license holders rather than focus on implementing punishments. According to him, the Swedish gambling watchdog should start targeting mainly illegal gambling operators as part of its regulatory activities.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.