Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has made a decision to reprimand and fine horse racing and sports betting operator AB Trav och Galopp (ATG) with the amount of SEK 2 million ($188,434) due to deficiencies in its self-exclusion option.
No Access to the Self-Exclusion Function on ATG Platforms During a Period of Two Weeks
On February 15, 2022, ATG informed Spelinspektionen that the self-exclusion functionality was not available to players that logged in via mobile bank ID during the period from January 13 to January 28 due to a technical issue. The issue appeared after an update of the log-in system of ATG’s platforms.
ATG discovered that there is a problem on January 27 and resolved the error on the next day – January 28.
It was not possible for ATG to find out how many players wanted to use the self-exclusion function during that period but were not able to use it due to the issue. However, the company has estimated that approximately 100 players may have been affected.
It must be noted that players who logged in using bank ID on file or their username were able to access the self-exclusion feature during the same period. The function was also available via customer service, which three people contacted between January 13 and 28. The link to Spelinspektionen’s self-exclusion system, Spelpaus, also worked correctly during the period.
According to ATG, the issue has been resolved and new procedures and measures have been put in place in order to avoid further occurrence of the problem.
The Background for the Swedish Gambling Regulator’s Decision
According to the Swedish Gambling Act, the self-exclusion feature has to be visible and accessible from all pages on a licensed platform offering online gambling. This means that ATG has breached this important regulatory provision.
Users having access and being able to shut themselves off from gambling via the self-exclusion feature, either through the gambling provider’s website or via Spelpaus, is an integral part of a licensee’s gaming responsibility. The issue with the access to this feature for users logging via mobile bank ID is a serious breach of this responsibility on the part of ATG.
Spelinspektionen has taken into account that ATG did not discover the problem immediately and that it resolved the error as fast as possible when it eventually found out it existed. However, the regulator does not consider it condonable that a technical error causing a deficiency of this nature was not discovered immediately. The company only found out about the bug 14 days later, and a large number of players may thus have been affected.
Due to the seriousness of the failure, Spelinspektionen is going to reprimand and also fine ATG. According to the Swedish Gambling Act, fines may be a minimum of SEK 5,000 ($469) and up to 10% of a company’s turnover reported during the previous financial year. Taking into consideration that ATG’s GGR for 2021 was SEK 5,5 billion ($515 million), Spelinspektionen has set the fine at SEK 2 million ($188,434).