In Sweden and the Spelinspektionen gaming regulator has announced that the Administrative Court of Stockholm has rejected appeals from a pair of licensees that were earlier hit with individual fines worth approximately $1.5 million.
The watchdog used an official Friday press release to detail that NGG Nordic Limited and SkillOnNet Limited were penalized in June of 2019 after it adjudged they had both contravened the nation’s rules on the provision of bonus offers. The regulator also explained that the Malta-based iGaming operators subsequently appealed these punishments over almost identical contentions that it had relied on an incorrect interpretation of the Gaming Act when issuing the fines.
The Spelinspektionen declared that NGG Nordic Limited was penalized after an ‘overall assessment of all relevant circumstances’ determined that the operator had offered ‘surprises every week’ alongside ‘raffle cash prizes, travel and free spins, bonuses, rewards and free games for loyal players’ as part of its promotions. The regulator stated that these inducements had constituted ‘financial incentives’ under the terms of the Gaming Act, which were available for the defendant to view for over four months before the sanction was initiated.
In summarizing its decision, the Spelinspektionen pronounced that the enticements from NGG Nordic Limited had contained ‘both illicit bonus offers and lotteries’ and that the latter was ‘not covered by the company’s licence for commercial online gaming.’ The watchdog disclosed that the Administrative Court of Stockholm has now agreed with this take to leave the operator on the hook for the around $1.5 million fine.
The Spelinspektionen divulged that SkillOnNet Limited was ordered to pay an identical penalty after being found guilty of analogous violations running from complimentary spins and cash-back incentives to daily bonuses, monthly rewards and VIP packages. Although all of these offers were removed in April of 2019, the regulator noted that the Administrative Court of Stockholm nevertheless ruled that the operator was still liable because it had broken the rules.
Read a statement from the Spelinspektionen…
“Our assessment is that these offers constituted discounts and financial incentives and thus constituted bonuses. To take part in these offers players were required to be a customer of the companies, have registered a gaming account with the companies and had previously played on games provided by the companies.”
The Spelinspektionen finished by acknowledging that both NGG Nordic Limited and SkillOnNet Limited, which additionally had petitions to Sweden’s Administrative Court of Appeals rejected, have now agreed to only offer punters a first-time welcome bonus so as to ensure such inducements are awarded just once.