Spelinspektionen reacts to rule clarifications on minors in Swedish sports betting

Spelinspektionen reacts to rule clarifications on minors in Swedish sports betting
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Spelinspektionen, Sweden’s gambling inspectorate, has noted the ‘clearer legal situation’ of cases involving minors in sports betting.

Over the last four years, 80 of Spelinspektionen’s decisions have been tried against in court by the operators involved, with many of them relating to offers on sporting fixtures involving participants under the age of 18.

A notable case in this four-year period, in 2019, involved Zecure Gaming, who were fined SEK 3.5m (£281,000) for offering bets on an under-17 football match between Slovakia and Georgia.

Under Swedish law, operators are forbidden from offering bets on sporting events where the majority of participants are considered to be minors (under the age of 18).

This year, the Supreme Administrative Court has routinely rejected the leave of appeal in cases involving minors, upholding the decisions of the Court of Appeal and the Spelinspektionen’s penalties.

“The legal situation in these cases has thus become clear,” noted Spelinspektionen on its website. “In a case concerning a lack of connection against a game break, the Supreme Administrative Court has granted leave to appeal.”

Following the Court of Appeal’s judgments, clarifications have been made over the definition of ‘event’, which also applies to individual matches, whilst the participants in a fixture are defined as those who are directly competing in the match i.e. starting players and substitutes.

Additionally, legal authorities have stated that the number of times a violation of the U18 gambling law and the proportion of minors participating in a fixture should be taken into account ‘in mitigating or aggravating to some extent’.

“It is of secondary importance if it can be established whether manipulation occurred,” Spelinspektionen added. “The same applies to whether and to what extent the offer attracted gambling.

The Supreme Administrative Court has granted leave to appeal in cases concerning a warning and a penalty fee ‘as a result of a lack of connection to a game break’.

As agreed by the Court and Spelinspektionen, ‘the ceiling of the penalty fee should be calculated on the licensee’s gross turnover’.