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Swedish regulator clears four operators of underage betting allegations

Spelinspektionen, the Swedish gambling regulator, has cleared four operators from any wrongdoings following an investigation into the availability of bets on matches involving players under the age of 18.

ATG, Betsson, Hillside Sports, the operating subsidiary of bet365, and Kindred Group-owned Spooniker all had cases cleared by Spelinspektionen after it was initially thought that the four operators had offered markets on the individual performances of under-18 players in a football match.

Swedish gambling law prohibits operators from offering bets on sporting events where the majority of players are under the age of 18, and the regulator has previously suggested that offering markets on underage players can be seen to increase the danger of minors being exposed to attempts to manipulate sporting results.

However, after reviewing the cases against the operators, Spelinspektionen stated that in fact, neither of them had breached licence conditions as the football players that were taking part in the contested events were largely aged 18 or over.

Spelinspektionen also pointed out that it was mulling regulations, bans, and restrictions aimed at penalizing match-fixing and other threats to the integrity of Swedish sports. The ongoing discussions involve taking bets on the individual performance of underage athletes and would aim to bring more clarity to that portion of Sweden’s gambling regulations.

It’s unclear from the announcement whether Spelinspektionen is conducting reviews of similar instances involving other licensees. In July, the Swedish regulator imposed fines on eight locally licenced operators. The Stars Group and bet365 were each handed record fines of SEK10 million (nearly €1m).

Gaming Innovation Group suspended its Swedish sportsbook operation in July, citing lack of clarity in the Swedish gambling regulation following a SEK3.5 million (€325k) fine to its in-house brands Rizk and Guts.

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