Spelinspektionen has handed ‘Hillside Sports’ , the registered company of bet365 Sweden, a SEK 1 million (€95,00) penalty for taking bets on an under-18s football match.
The sanction was issued in relation to a Sodra Västergötlands Fotbollförbund (Swedish southern district League) training match between Kronängs IF vs Mariedals IK which was played on 28 March 2020.
Reviewing matchday line-ups, Spelinspektionen reported that 17 of the Kronängs squad and seven of the Mariedals team were under 18 at the time.
Under Chapter 8 of Sweden’s new Gaming Act, the operator was prohibited from offering markets on the game.
In its response to the regulator, Hillside stated that Chapter 8 restrictions referred to football matches classified as under-18 events in which Kronängs IF vs Mariedals IK had made no distinction.
“Hillside has not offered betting in bad faith for its own sake winnings in violation of the gaming law,” the company reported.
“Hillside lacked further information about and could or have they obtained information on the number of minor participants then such data are not generally available.”
The incident is not the first time that bet365 has fallen foul of Swedish betting’s Chapter 8 rules. Back in June 2019, bet365 was among a raft of licensed bookmakers penalised by Spelinspektionen for offering betting markets on under-18 football matches.
Following an unsuccessful appeal, bet365 was issued the maximum penalty of SEK 10 million (€1 million) for breaching Chapter 8 rules.
Following a series of sanctions issued in 2019, BOS Sweden – the country’s online gambling trade association – demanded that Spelinspektionen clarified its under-18 wagering rules, as licensed operators were ‘unwittingly falling foul of unclear Chapter 8 rules and guidance’.
Spelinspektionen reaffirmed that Chapter 8 rules had been implemented to strengthen Sweden’s Gaming Act with the Council of Europe Convention on the protection of sports integrity.
bet365 stated that as of May 2019, it has stopped taking bets on all Swedish matches classified as U20, U21, U22 and U23 matches in accordance with the ‘inspectorate’s legal interpretation’.
Hillside stated that bet365 will continue to work with the Svenska Football Association (SFA) to provide guidance and recommendation on its Swedish football markets offering.