Spelinspektionen, the Swedish gambling regulatory body, has a message for international operators who are operating in the newly opened Swedish remote gaming market: bonuses are a one-time deal for the first time a player signs up. That means that name-brand operators will be without one of their key marketing, and retention, tools – the deposit bonus – when enticing Swedish players.
The warning from Spelinspektionen came in the form of a letter that went out to all the gambling companies licensed to do business in Sweden. In the letter, Spelinspektionen warned, “It is also clear that a licensee can only offer bonuses the first time a player plays at the licensee’s game. If the license holder violates the rules, the authority can intervene with high penalties. The license can also be revoked,” according to a report on SBCNews.co.uk.
While some operators have complained that Swedish law is somewhat vague as to what constitutes a bonus, the Spelinspektionen made it clear that a bonus includes discount offers, cashback promotions or other financial incentives. pelinspektionen operations chief Patrik Gustavsson spelled this out in the letter saying, “…there have been claims in the debate that the law is unclear. However, there is a definition in the law that states that all discounts or similar financial incentives linked to the games are to be seen as a bonus.”
This is not the first time that the Spelinspektionen has warned its gambling licensees to stay in line. Earlier this year, the regulatory body issued a warning stating that operators needed to closely adhere to rules regarding self-exclusion or face serious consequences.
In short, the Swedish online gambling market may be open but it’s not that open. Operators need to mind their business when marketing to Swedish players.