The Swedish supervisory authority Spelinspektionen has ordered the Cashalot operator Indigo Soft to withdraw from the market after establishing that it was aimed at Swedish customers without a license.
The regulator said it was opening a case against Curaçao-licensed Indigo on suspicion that it was targeting Sweden despite not being licensed.
The Swedish Gaming Inspectorate then found that both Cashalot’s website and subsidiaries that market it used Swedish-language marketing material. Swedish customers were not blocked from registering, which would have been sufficient to establish that Cashalot was not directed at Sweden.
The regulator gave Indigo an opportunity to respond, but said it received no response.
“Whether the game is visibly aimed at the Swedish market or not is decisive for whether the gaming law is applicable to online games,” says the regulator.
According to the regulator’s strategy for dealing with unlicensed activities, which was published in December last year, the order to leave the market is the first step in the enforcement process. Those who do not follow will be fined, and if this does not deter the operator, it will turn to the police.
The Swedish Gaming Inspectorate can also apply for court orders to block payment providers from processing transactions for these websites.
This order to leave the market comes when the country considers a major change in its approach to unlicensed operators.
While the regulator currently only takes action against unlicensed operators targeting Swedish customers, a recent public report recommended that the powers to stop illegal gambling should include all websites that accept Swedish customers without a license.
This approach would be similar to what was recently introduced in the Netherlands when the country opened its online gaming market. Following the political change, a number of operators such as Entain, Kindred, 888 Betsson, LeoVegas and Casumo announced that they would block Dutch customers.
The Swedish Gaming Inspectorate has ordered 22 unlicensed operators to leave the market since it opened to companies in early 2019. This includes 10 orders issued in June 2020 and three in May this year.