The Spelinspektionen was backed by the Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden in a legal dispute that is ongoing with Genesis Global. However, the amount of the penalty must be re-determined.
The nation’s top court of appeals for legal challenges said that this was due to a lack in detail about “the concept” of turnover, as well as differences in opinion on how it is applied.
The Swedish Gambling Authority filed an appeal against the Court of Appeal of Jonkoping, which slashed the amount despite admitting “a serious violation.”
The size of the penalty fee was determined by the severity of the infraction, not the turnover of the company.
Genesis was fined SEK 400,000 (EUR 360,000) in March 2019 for failing to integrate their white-label brands into the Spelpaus system. This occurred three months after Sweden’s newly-regulated online gambling market launched.
As previously mentioned, this penalty was then reduced to SEK 2m. It was determined that the regulator used an incorrect method to calculate the fine.
Spelpaus Integration was considered a compliance requirement for licensed operators who launch in Sweden’s newly created marketplace.
The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that the SGA had “reasonable grounds” for issuing a warning and that “the rulings of the subinstances in this part were upheld.”
The statement said: “The Supreme Administrative Court considered the circumstances and found that, among other things that were revealed, the company already had indications that its control function was not working against the self exclusion register, but gambling continued to be permitted. This was seen to highlight that the violation was serious.”
The court stated, in assessing the amount of penalty that should have been charged, that the financial situation of the licensee in the form the amount of turnover should be taken into consideration.
The Supreme Administrative Court stated that it found the legal text to be unclear as to what turnover meant and that the concept used in the bill of annual turnover was not adequately explained.
The parties to the case held different opinions on whether or not the term refers to player contributions made before or after winnings were paid to players.
Spelinspektionen has been asked to review the penalty amount due to the fact that the Supreme Administrative Court did not reach the same conclusion.
In response to the ruling, the regulator stated: “All advice from the highest level is beneficial for continued assessments by the authority.” The ruling requires the Swedish Gaming Authority to re-examine Genesis Global’s penalty fees.
The authority will also analyze the implications of the court’s decisions in other cases involving penalty fees.