Swedish regulator penalises Karamba owner for self-exclusion failures

Swedish gaming regulator Spelinspektionen has taken further action for violations of self-exclusion rules, with AG Communications the latest to fall foul within the Scandinavian nation.

Implementing its national register, titled Spelpaus.se, when the new gaming act came into force on the first day of 2019, it became mandatory that all gaming companies with a Swedish license join the national self-shutdown scheme.

Placing strong consumer protection as an integral part of the new regulation, individuals who join Spelpaus turn off from all licensed games in the country that require registration, with organisations also unable to send direct mail to those who have turned off.

The Spelinspektionen details that it was contacted by individuals who had been able to play on AG Communications brands, despite having registered for self-exclusion, which 30,000 chose to do during the period to April 1.

Initiating an investigation, it was found that AG Communications, which provides games via its flagship Karamba casino as well as 12 other brands, was guilty of not having a functioning connection with Spelpaus, and received a penalty fee of SEK 3m (£247,000) as well as a warning into future conduct.

Within its judgement, the regulator stressed that revoking a licence for such an offence is not out of the question: “In order to meet the requirements of the legislation when the connection to the Spelpaus does not work, the company must refuse to offer games. AG Communications, however, chose to allow games during the period when the integration against Spelpaus was not in place, and did so with the insight that an important requirement for offering games was not met.

“AG Communications has thus violated a central requirement for offering games. It is impossible to consider the offense as minor or excusable. Against this background, the Spelinspektionen considers that the infringement is in this case serious.

“Serious infringements shall result in the revocation of the license, unless a warning is considered sufficient. In this assessment, the Spelinspektionen takes special account of the fact that AG Communications has rectified the integration with Spelpaus, and that there is no reason to assume that the integration will not continue to work. The fact that the infringement ceased after a relatively short period of time means that a warning may be considered sufficient.”

Last month Genesis Global, which counts Casino Joy and Vegas Hero as part of it stable, and Paf Consulting were found to have committed similar offences, receiving fines of SEK 4m (£329,427) and SEK 100,000 (£8,235) respectively.