Kindred: Spelinspektionen has failed in its management of Swedish marketplace

Kindred Group has issued a public statement lambasting Swedish gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen‘s management of the country’s re-regulated online gambling marketplace.

Operating as Sweden’s largest licensed online gambling incumbent, Kindred said that inefficient measures implemented by Spelinspektionen have scuppered the regulated market’s objective of securing 90% channelisation by 2022.

Kindred issued its rebuke of Spelinspektionen as the Swedish government moves to impose a temporary weekly deposit restriction of SEK5,000 (€500) and a welcome bonus cap of SEK 100 on online casino verticals from 2 July onwards.

In its statement, Kindred branded the online casino restrictions imposed by the gambling minister as a ‘populistic initiative’, which ‘makes one wonder if Sweden aims for reversed channelling’.

It added: “The Gambling Act is built up as a framework, delegating powers to government and SGA. Kindred and other operators warned already in 2017 that the delegated mandate was too wide and vaguely phrased.

“It could also be used by the government to deviate from the overall purpose of the reform. Warnings were not listened to and now we see our suspicions come true.”

Kindred explained that in two separate instances it has referred detailed regulatory alternatives to Spelinspektionen, through both its public affairs team and through Swedish online gambling association BOS.

The operator stated that it is not alone in its frustrations towards Spelinspektionen, highlighting market concerns raised by state-owned monopoly Svenska Spel.

Of further frustration, Kindred detailed that it learnt through the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) that Spelinspektionen will enforce new industry legislation without complying with EU directives on business policy.

Kindred added that it has put much effort into delivering the facts on how Swedish online gambling has been effected by COVID-19 – forwarding all its relevant findings to Spelinspektionen, who it said remains unresponsive to the realities.

The statement concluded: “At the end of the day, we must assume that short-term populistic policy outperforms facts. Hence we are working hard to make sure Kindred will be compliant as we cannot place our bet on only one horse.

“Thursday 11 June the government will decide to impose the proposed restrictions from 2 July. Our resistance however continues.”

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