LeoVegas wins battle for five-year Swedish gaming license
LeoVegas recently won a major victory over the Swedish gambling regulatory body the Spelinspektionen in their effort to secure a long-term gaming license in the country. The online operator’s protracted battle is, yet another, example of how challenging the Swedish market has proven to be for gambling companies looking to serve Swedish players.
At the heart of the battle was Spelinspektionen’s early decision to issue LeoVegas a two-year gaming license as opposed to the five-year license that other foreign companies received. The Spelinspektionen’s reasoning behind the truncated license was that LeoVegas had once received a large fine from UK Gambling Commission for failing to keep self-excluded players and problem gamblers from their products. While officials at LeoVegas didn’t deny the UK transgressions, they also pointed out that they swiftly addressed the technical issues that had caused the problem in the first place and have had a clean slate ever since. (They didn’t use the argument that the UKGC hands out fines in a very capricious manner; an argument that has some merit.)
LeoVegas appealed the Spelinspektionen’s decision to issue them a short-term license and a Swedish judge agreed with their arguments saying, “The Administrative Court believes that these violations, both collectively and individually, are serious. They may also be considered to provide grounds to assume that there is a risk related to the company’s ability to comply with the requirements imposed on gambling activies under the Gaming Act.
“However, this must be contrasted with the fact that the more serious violations are attributable to 2016, that is, almost three years before Spelinspektionen made its licensing decisions. In addition, nothing has emerged that indicates that the company attempted to withhold information from the Gambling Commission, or that the company would not have made corrections in principle immediately after it became aware of the deficiencies,” according to a report on iGamingBusiness.com.
In short, the court ruled that the 2016 violations were no big deal and that the Spelinspektionen should take a deep breath and get back to work.