Betsson has received a warning from the Swedish supervisory authority Spelinspektionen after they offered games on rule violations, which are prohibited in Sweden according to a set of rules against settled matches that came into force last year.
On 25 May 2021, the Swedish Gaming Inspectorate received a tip that Betsson had offered games related to rule violations for a football match between Malmö FF and Elfsborg in Sweden’s highest league, the Allsvenskan. The supervisory authority did not mention what type of violation can be prosecuted.
According to a set of rules that were introduced in 2020 and designed to reduce settled matches, Swedish operators are not allowed to offer bets on any rule violations, including yellow cards or penalties in football. These rules were controversial when they were introduced, with the operators association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) claiming that the change effectively “decriminalized match-fixing”. On the other hand, Svenska Spel claimed that they did not go far enough to prevent manipulation.
Betsson acknowledged that it really offered something related to rule violations. However, it said that this was only offered as part of a combination bet that had been created by a third party supplier.
It argued that the bets in question should not be in breach of the prohibition on infringements, as the fact that they were offered as a combination bet alongside legal markets meant that they could not be easily used for match-fixing.
Betsson added that only 30 games had been placed on these markets, for a total of SEK 3,000. These 30 bets were all declared void and all bets were returned to the players.
In addition, it said that once it became aware that these markets had been offered, it “ensured that the third party supplier took measures to prevent similar betting in the future”. As a result, Betsson claimed, they now have technology that can prevent this type of game from being offered in Sweden.
However, the Swedish Gaming Inspectorate pointed out that the markets offered were still “obviously” in breach of its match-fixing rules. It said it was “remarkable” that Betsson did not consider betting on rules to break the rules if they were offered in a combination game, as it said that the fact “does not make a difference”.
The fact that Betsson did not consider the bet to be a breach of the rules, according to the Swedish Gaming Inspectorate, was an “aggravating factor” when considering what measures should be taken.
However, it considered the low turnover levels in these markets to be a “mitigating factor”, as well as the fact that the bet was annulled and Betsson’s measures to prevent this from happening again.
It added that the fact that the match in question could be considered a “relatively high level” was also a mitigating factor, as this made match-fixing less likely.
As a result of these mitigating factors, the Swedish Gaming Inspectorate chose to only warn Betsson.
Betsson had previously encountered the Gaming Inspectorate 2020, when the supervisory authority claimed that Betsson’s sale of vouchers at Pressbyrån and 7-Eleven constituted the provision of games through unregistered gaming agents. As a result, it issued a warning and a penalty of SEK 20 million (£ 1.7 million / € 2.0 million / $ 2.4 million).
On 14 June 2021, however, an appellate court dismissed the fine and ruled that the sale of coupons did not constitute the sale of gaming products, the receipt of bets or the brokerage of winnings.
Later that month, the Swedish Gaming Inspectorate announced that they would not appeal the decision to a higher court.