Videoslots has become the last firm to triumph in a battle to secure a Swedish licence for the maximum five-year period, after regulator Spelinspektionen initially awarded a two-year green light.
Overturned by the Administrative Court in Linköping, it was said that the decision was made to issue a shorter licence due to the firm having been subject to “penalties for its gaming operations in the UK”.
This relates to a settlement in November 2018 that saw a UK Gambling Commission investigation find weaknesses in the firm’s anti-money laundering and social responsibility controls.
A regulatory settlement saw Videoslots pay £1m in lieu of a financial penalty to National Responsible Gambling Strategy project(s) to pay for research and treatment as determined appropriate to address the risk of harmful gambling.
In its conclusion the UKGC stressed that in determining the appropriate outcome the following factors were taken into account:
- Proactive and timely action taken by Videoslots to address all the issues identified.
- Videoslots being open and transparent from the outset of the investigation and fully co-operative throughout.
- A demonstrable insight into the seriousness of the failings.
Within its Swedish appeal the online casino operator emphasised the aforementioned three points, stating that “the UK supervision case cannot be regarded as a reason to deviate from the normal license period of five years”.
It was also said that the regulator “had not been consistent in its licensing,” stating that “several companies that have been granted five-year licenses [that] have been sentenced to pay fines abroad”.
One particular case highlighted within Sweden is that of Casino Cosmopol, with the land-based subsidiary of Svenska Spel punished due to failings in its anti-money laundering protocols. Svenska Spel was awarded a five-year licence.
Approving the appeal, it has been ruled that the licence period will now be extended to cover January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2023.