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Online Gambling Regulator Fines Two Providers for “Self-Exclusion” Violations

With the unprecedented growth of online gambling throughout the world, regional online gambling regulators are taking seriously its responsibility to protect players. This was made very evident this past week when the Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen fined two online gambling license holders over its failures to comply with the nation’s strict self-exclusion rules. Both Genesis Global Limited and Paf Consulting Corporation were handed down hefty fines by the Swedish gambling regulator for failing to prevent self-excluded players from having access to the websites under its control. In addition to the fine, both companies also received a stern warning about possible future infractions.

Most companies within the online gambling community are very supportive of rules related to protecting players from rogue operators and themselves if problem gambling issues come to light. Companies like NetEnt put mechanisms into place to help gambling operators comply with jurisdictional regulations. If a player encounters any casinos using NetEnt games and/or software platform, they will likely have access to protection options like self-exclusion.

Genesis Global Limited operates at least four online casinos with access granted to Swedish residents. The four known sites include Casino Joy, Casino Cruise, Sloty, and Vegas Hero. For its violation of self-exclusion regulations, Genesis was fined SEK4,000,000 (approximately $432,341). Likewise, PAF, with its paf.com and paf.se websites, was hit with a SEK100,000 fine (approximately $10,808). Any further issues could result in the violator losing its license to operate in Sweden.

With online gambling being a fairly new form of entertainment for Swedish residents, Spelinspektionen set forth to establish a strict set of regulations that would prevent players from falling victim to problem gambling issues.

On January 1st of this year, the Swedish gambling regulator released a new set of regulations. Under the new rules, online gambling operators are required to provide its bettors with access to the country’s self-exclusion registry known as Spelhaus.se. Additionally, each operator is required to have its internal self-exclusion mechanisms connected to the Swedish registry to enable monitoring capabilities.

The registry is available for any bettors who feel they might have a gambling problem. It allows players to have themselves blocked from having access to any member gambling sites operating legally within the borders of Sweden. The self-exclusion option also allows the bettor to decide for themselves how long they want to take a break from gambling up to and including permanent exclusion.

In the case of Genesis, it did not have its software properly linked to the registry. The problem came to light when a couple of self-excluded players discovered they could get access to any of the aforementioned Genesis websites. Unfortunately for the company, the excluded bettors contacted Spelinspektionen and reported the problem. With that level of integrity on the part of those bettors, it would seem regulators can indeed offer help with problem gambling issues anywhere in the world.

It’s worth noting that after receiving its respective fines, both organizations moved forward to fix the problem to re-establish compliance with Spelinspektionen’s current rules and regulations.


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