Kindred Sees Record Fine In Sweden Reduced

Kindred Sees Record Fine In Sweden Reduced

Fine Reduced

The Spooniker subsidiary of Kindred has seen a record fine handed out in Sweden of SEK100m reduced for a second time from SEK50m to SEK30m by the Administrative Court of Appeal in Jönköping.

The appeal process has been ongoing since the original fine was handed out in 2020. 

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Original Case

The original fine and penalty were handed out by the Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen in March 2020. The fine was given when Kindred was found to be promoting unauthorised bonuses and lotteries to Swedish players. 

An investigation into Kindred brands, Unibet, Maria Casino, Storspelare, Bingo and iGame took place in March 2019 and found that the operators were promoting unauthorised bonuses to players. Under Swedish laws, operators are only permitted to offer welcome bonuses to new customers. 

Kindred was quick to refute these claims, arguing that they were not bonuses but in-game mechanics. One of the bonuses in question was a bingo loyalty scheme. Further checks uncovered bonuses like free spins and free bingo tickets were also being offered. 

First Reduction

Kindred held firm in its protests and appealed the initial SEK100m fine to the Administrative Court in Linköping. The court recognised the appeal and reduced the fine to SEK50m in July 2021. The court acknowledged the company's failings but deemed a more ‘medium-high penalty’ to be a better solution. 

Despite this reduction, Kindred has continued to argue that the rules in Sweden surrounding bonuses are open to interpretation. The court has now ruled that the fee should be reduced to SEK30m. However, Kindred still insists that the fine should be scrapped altogether, highlighting that it was quick to make its adjustments once it had been contacted by the regulator. 

From these comments, it looks as though Kindred will continue to battle this fine, though no further information has been provided by the courts or Spelinspektionenregarding the issue being pursued further. Given Spelinspektionen’s record, it seems unlikely that the case will be dropped entirely, with a further appeal for reduction probably being more likely. 


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