Betfair fined SEK4.0m in Sweden over unauthorised betting

A Spelinspektionen found Betfair offered bets on the U21 Allsvenskan, the youth-level football league. Swedish law only allows wagering on the four highest levels of league football in the country. 

The regulator said betting was available on a total of 148 matches in 2021 and 2022, with 224 Swedish customers wagering SEK1.1m across 139 of these games during the period.

In response to the findings, Betfair said the bets were only available on its Betfair Exchange site, where players are matched against each other to form odds and bets. Betfair said it only takes a commission from these bets.

Betfair admitted that featuring U21 Allsvenskan games on Betfair Exchange violated Swedish law regarding the types of competitions players can bet on in the country. The operator said a manual process of blocking access to betting on the event failed and as such it was at fault.

According to Betfair, it no longer offers any form of betting on U21 Allsvenskan and has taken measures to ensure any wagering options on the competition and other lower leagues are now blocked in Sweden. Players in the country may now only bet on the top two leagues.

Serious violation 

Spelinspektionen acknowledged the steps Betfair has taken and its admission of failure but having classified the violation as a “serious” breach of gambling laws, the regulator issued the fine and also handed Betfair a formal warning.

“Betting on the U21 Allsvenskan is not permitted in order to protect young players from undue influence,” Spelinspektionen said in its assessment. “Violating these regulations constitutes a serious violation. 

“The violation has continued over a long period of time and on repeated occasions. It has been systematically recurring during 2021 and 2022.”

The regulator arrived at the SEK4.0m penalty fee in line with regulations, which state that a fine for a serious offence should be no less than SEK5,000 and a maximum of 10% of the operator’s turnover.

Betfair’s gross turnover in 2021 was more than SEK4.35bn, which meant a maximum fine could have reached SEK435.5m. However, Spelinspektionen also took into account the operator’s gross gaming revenue for the same year, which reached SEK32.7m, to ensure the fine was not disproportionate.

As such, it was concluded that Betfair should pay a fine of SEK4.0n for the violation.

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