GIG Temporarily Pull Sports Betting Brands Out Of Sweden Due To SEK3.5 Million Fine

Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) have temporarily suspended brands, Rizk and Guts sportsbook in Sweden, due to being fined for providing customers the chance to bet on matches featuring under 18 players.

Further Clarification Needed

The Swedish Gambling Authority fined GIG, SEK 3.5 Million (£350,000) for failing to comply with Swedish gambling regulation. As a result of ‘interpretations’ of some elements of the regulation, GIG made the decision to suspend their product until further clarification is given. This will only affect the Swedish sportsbook operations and they hope to resume when there’s more clarity.CEO at GIG Robin Reed said,“ We find ourselves in an impossible position due to the lack of clarity in the Swedish Gambling Regulation. We have to protect the company and it’s shareholders from potential penalties from such vagueries. This action was taken because, ultimately, it is critically important for us to be compliant. So, we decided to temporarily suspend further bets until this can be clarified. We believe that the current rules for online sports betting are open to interpretation, leaving uncertainty around whether an operator is in fact compliant or not. The recent fines issued by the Swedish regulator to GIG and multiple other peers demonstrate this overall uncertainty in the market. We encourage the SGA to amend the relevant rules so that they do not leave any room for misinterpretation and we would welcome the opportunity to collaborate on this. We have taken the lead on this and we also encourage the SGA to suspend all sportsbook operating in Sweden until such clarification id provided.”This is the first year Sweden opened its doors to the sports betting market, allowing international operators who had previously shown interest in providing their products under the regulation.

‘Too Open For Interpretation’

Because of the regulation being, ‘too open for interpretation’, licensee could unwittingly breech their license conditions without realising, resulting in hefty fines.GIG are not the only operators to fall foul of the regulator, Bet365, The Stars Group, GVC Holding’s bwin all incurred hefty fines. GIG does plan on appealing against the sanction and does not agree with the regulators assessment and conclusion. Until more clarity on Swedish Regulations is set, GIG brands will remain out of the Swedish sports betting market

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