Swedish ombudsman warns operators of marketing duties

Sweden’s consumer ombudsman Konsumentverket (KO) has told national media that William Hill subsidiary Mr Green and Karl Casino – a property of L&L Europe – have breached Sweden’s advertising and gambling codes.

The igaming operators have been accused of promoting marketing offers to customers registered with ‘Spelpaus’ Swedish gambling’s ’self-exclusion scheme.

KO governance has issued warnings to Mr Green and Karl Casino with regards to their marketing conduct, notifying the operators that they risk fines of SEK 2 million (€200,000) should they breach self-exclusion conditions again.

“The law is very clear on this point,” said KO Counsel Johanna Nyblom. “The idea is that players who want to pause or stop playing should be completely protected from direct calls to play and from getting advertising directly on mobile or via e-mails.”

KO reminded industry incumbents of Gaming Act responsibilities on advertising and marketing disciplines, underlining that licensed operators are obliged to ensure that they have no contact with customers who have self-excluded.

Mr Green marketing has communicated that its communication errors have been rectified, with the company modifying its customer database provisions.

Closing its first full year in operations, the Swedish re-regulated online gambling marketplace has faced scrutiny with regards to marketing standards, with critics highlighting excessive advertising as a particular concern.

Criticism of Swedish incumbents saw industry operators work in partnership with independent trade associations BOS and SPER to develop new guidance on advertising standards promoting self-regulation and moderation on gambling advertising.

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