The Swedish regulator had spent a considerable amount of time investigating the operations of the company and in doing so, had found many violations of the regulators most important laws which were put in place to protect players. One of the biggest discoveries was that customers were able to spend large amounts of money without the company having an appropriate reaction. It was also found that players were able to continue playing far beyond their own set deposit limits.
Additionally, when it came to the measures taken to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, there were a number of shortcomings. The final nail in the coffin was when they found SafeEnt to be offering numerous bonuses to their players, which is strictly against the agreement
SafeEnt claimed they were constantly working to implement new measures to correct the deficiencies that have been outlined. However, Spelinspektionen have said that the actions are too little too late and stated that SafeEnt lacks understanding of important parts of the local gambling laws and in turn, has revoked the licence with immediate effect.
Since the event, the ASA has found that the advert was not a breach of the advertising regulations and retracted their earlier statement. During the broadcast of the advert, the gambling operators is promoting a “request a bet” service to their customers, which allows them to place a combination of small bets throughout a football match.
In the advert, Jeff Stelling says “Forget ‘anything can happen’, in sport anything does happen. But
Viewers claimed that the advert was saying there is a correlation between the level of sports knowledge and gambling success. This was originally enough for the ASA to take action against Sky Bet, but after reconsideration they changed their mind on the matter. The Advertising Standards Agency released a statement justifying their new ruling: “The phrase 'in sport anything does happen' explicitly recognised the uncertain nature of sporting outcomes. We therefore concluded that the ad was not socially irresponsible and did not breach the Code.”
The reminder came after the changes to the license conditions in May, where age verification measures were outlined. Operators were told they must carry out thorough checks on a player’s age before they are able to access free-to-play games.
The statement from UKGC informed operators that they have “been made aware that licensees may be benefiting from affiliate advertising models, which offer free-to-play versions of real money games on their websites without the necessary accompanying age verification of users
The reminder from the UK’s gambling regulator concluded by saying “You should take steps immediately to ensure that your free-to-play games cannot be accessed by children and young people via affiliate’s websites.”
The operators have been named as Betfair, Bethard, Casinostugan, Electraworks, Hillside, Polar Limited, TSG Interactive and Zecure Gaming, with the total fines equaling a sum of SEK41.2 million ($4.4 million). Each of the operators were fined different amounts, depending on the size of the offense, with TSG Interactive and Hillside receiving the bulk of the fine, with a $1.08 million fine each.
The wagers that were in question took place during U19 and U21s league fixtures, where many of the players were under the age of 18. This runs against the regulation of the country, which states that
It’s speculated that these operators have been being monitored for some time. Looking back to May, where the regulator warned all of their operators that they need to stay clear of underage matches. At this time, they did not name any of the offending operators, but with the size of some of these fines, it’s likely that some operators have been breaching this rule for some time.
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