The Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) is only one of many sportsbook operators in this country looking for some clarity from the Spelinspektionen. Some of the new regulations which were introduced this year are left open for interpretation and have seemingly been misinterpreted by some service providers. This led to sportsbook providers being penalized with hefty fines.
GiG Suspending Swedish Operations
The Swedish Gambling Authority has fined the GiG with more than $370 000. These fines are based on the fact that they allowed their clients to bet on sports events where the players were under the age of 18. It led to GiG suspending their sportsbook operations in both Rizk as well as Gutz, which were their in-house brands.
Robin Reed, GiG’s chief executive, expressed his concern regarding the newly established rules and like many others in the industry considers it to be vague. It is due to this lack of clarity that they are suspending their activities to protect their shareholders and the company from any further fines. Reed was clear on the fact that this is only for Sweden and that they will remain operating in any other country where GiG is active. Their decision will also not affect their Business to Business operations.
The confirmation was also given by GiG that they are still honouring bets placed before their decision was made and that all money which might be due will be paid. They also made it clear that this suspension is only temporary. The business will continue once the Spelinspektionen made the necessary changes to create clarity.
The Swedish Marketplace is a Place of Uncertainty
The request to bring more insight and clarity into the new legislation is a pressing one from many sportsbook operators. Their uncertainty and the fact that they interpret some aspects of the bill in a certain way, which then gets them into trouble leave the market extremely volatile. The GiG was one of eight others who recently received penalties within the sportsbook industry.
The list of names of companies being penalized by the Swedish Gambling Authorities includes the names of Casinostugan, Bethard Group and Flutter Entertainment’s Betfair International, as well as the Stars Group. All of these licensed sportsbook operators were found guilty of allowing sports bets to be placed on matches where players were below 18 years old.
This is considered by the authorities to allow sports manipulation to happen by influencing the young players to manipulating the results. This created a severe request brought to the Spelinspektionen by suppliers in the industry to both reconsider and adjust their current regulations or to represent them in a manner which is bright and less open for incorrect interpretation.
The increased concern from the Swedish Gaming Authorities came after Cori Gauff, the 15-year-old tennis player from the United States, captured the world’s attention in Wimbledon with her performance. The current situation leaves sportsbook providers uncertain on how to handle sports concerning these young players and yet remain within legal boundaries.