Kindred Group subsidiary fined SEK100m for bonus breach


Kindred Group has received a warning and sanction fee in the sum of SEK 100 million from the Swedish Gambling Authority for offering incentives in early 2019 in a way that is non-compliant with the new Swedish Gambling Act. Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Kindred Group responds below.

“Kindred Group has today been issued with a warning and sanction fee by the Swedish Gambling Authority of SEK 100 million for breaching the bonus regulations. I am very disappointed that a sanction fee has been issued as we, along with other operators, have reached out to the SGA since 2018 with requests for guidance from the SGA on the framework legislation currently in place. However, the SGA has not managed to clarify the law and instead left it to the Swedish courts to determine the issues that have arisen as a result of the SGA’s actions to issue warnings and sanction fees to licensed operators, while at the same time doing little to stop unlicensed operators from targeting Swedish customers. As soon as the SGA notified us of its views on Kindred’s offering, in spring 2019, we changed it.

We will, of course, appeal the SGA’s decision, and it is imperative to stress that the SGA’s decision does not become legally enforceable until the appeal process has been exhausted, and a final judicial decision has been issued. Only then will the sanction fee become payable and Kindred will, of course, comply with any final decision in due course. It is anticipated that the appeal process is likely to last several months if not longer.

The Swedish licence system and the political will to implement such a system was to regain control and ensure the safety of Swedish gamblers. We fully agree with this and work hard to transform the industry in a sustainable direction. However, the Swedish legislation and the actions taken by the SGA risk lowering the level of channelisation, which can put the entire regulation at risk of failure.”