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Swedish Regulator Warning on Bonus Promotions

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The gambling regulator of Sweden, the Spelinspektionen has warned licensed operators about the way that it handles bonus promotions.

As part of the new rules laid out for the re-regulated Swedish market, the regulator specified that operators licensed for Sweden were only allowed to offer bonuses to customers during the first occasion when they play on a site. But in a letter issued to all licensed companies last week, Spelinspektionen stated that a number of operators had broken these rules, providing further bonuses to players, and the regulator is concerned about the risk of gambling harm to Swedish players.

The regulator clarified that under the rules, the definition of ‘bonus’ included all discounts, cashback deals or other financial incentives, and reiterated that these can only be offered to customers on the first occasion that they gamble with an operator. It also revealed that supervision orders had already been issued to a number of gambling licensees regarding their bonus policies.

The Operations Chief of the Spelinspektionene, Patrik Gustavsson, addressed claims that the laws lacked clarity, pointing to the clear definition of the word ‘bonus’ in Swedish law. He also reiterated the risks that operators who ignored the rules ran:

If the license holder violates the rules, the authority can intervene with high penalties. The license can also be revoked.”

The latest reminder from the regulator follows a warning over the failure of some operators to correctly implement self-exclusion policies, which are mandatory under the new Swedish regulatory regime. That warning was backed up by an announcement that the regulator would be closely monitoring all new incumbents to ensure adherence. It is likely that the Spelinspektionene will also be taking a closer look at new operators’ bonus practices over the coming weeks.

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