Bet365 receives penalty from Spelinspektionen over underage match
Spelinspektionen has handed Hillside Sports, the operator of Bet365, a penalty worth SEK1 million ($116,000) as well as a warning over a match that had 24 out of 34 of its participants being under the age of 18. This is a training match between Mariedals IK and Kronängs IF on which the operator provided betting services.
The Swedish Gambling Act’s Chapter 8 section 2.2 says that betting is not allowed to be provided on all matches in which most of the participants are under 18 years old.
Hillside stated that providing odds on this specific match was entirely allowed, since it was not a match that was made mainly for players who are underage. It also went on to say that it had instantaneously proceeded to make sure that odds will not be provided on matches similar to this one, as well as completely halting wagering on lower-division friendly matches.
The sports betting operator said:
“Hillside has not offered betting in bad faith for its own sake winnings in violation of the gaming law. The fact that a majority of the players then turned out to be under 18 years was an unfortunate coincidence that could have occurred in any senior league at any time and which could not be foreseen.”
The Swedish gambling regulator mentioned that the Act was entirely transparent in the forbiddance of allowing betting on matches with mostly underage participants, and not referring to wagers on underage matches and tournaments.
Moreover, Spelinspektionen said that this penalty is based on all total stakes from Sweden, which amounted to about SEK11.2 million in 2019 for Bet365. The latter later stated that it has to be based on Swedish revenue, which comes up to SEK683.9 million, however this was refused.
The regulator decided to keep the penalty issued at SEK1 million, taking the justificatory factors into account. This recent penalty and warning come after a very similar penalty was given back in June of 2019, worth SEK10 million, in the context of action against 8 operators for the same reasons as this new fine. Hillside’s first appeal was dismissed by the Administrative Court, and the company appealed it once again in the Court of Appeals.
Aside from that, Spelinspektionen has announced some new reforms to its board structure as it reveals the transferring of Fredrik Holmberg (who serves as the current director of the regulator) to the role of director general after the resignation of Camilla Rosenberg.