Thursday, 28 November 2019

Two Online Casino Operators Warned Over Self-Exclusion Failings

Gambling Addiction

Two online casino operators have been issued warnings in Sweden over self-exclusion failures.

The Swedish Consumer Agency (KO) issued injunctions to Mr Green Casino and Karl Casino, a site operated by L&L Europe Limited, after the two operators were found to have breached the country’s Gaming Act by sending promotional material to customers who had self-excluded.

As part of the warning, the Swedish Consumer Agency has ordered the two firms to stop communicating with all self-excluded gamblers who signed up with the country’s self-exclusion system Spelpaus. If the operators continue to contact the customers, they may be issued a fine of SEK 2 million (Around £162,053/$208,455/€189,288).

Commenting on the ruling, Johanna Nyblom of the KO said in a statement: “The law is very clear on this point; the idea is that players who want to pause or stop playing should be completely protected from direct inducements to gamble, as well as from getting advertising directly on mobile devices or via email.”

The KO’s Investigations

The KO launched an investigation into Mr Green in July and found that the operator had been contacting self-excluded customers via direct mail and emails. However, Mr Green said the communications were sent in error and blamed the mapping of information between the customer database and its mailing platform. The operator then explained that it had rectified all issues and that communications were no longer being sent to self-excluded customers.

Similarly, the KO launched an investigation into Malta-based Karl Casino in June and found that they too had been contacting self-excluded players via email. The operator highlighted several cases where it had contacted self-excluded customers but explained that the first instance involved two users who had failed to register with their personal identification numbers.

In another case, Karl Casino explained that advertising was sent to a customer via a third-party partner without the operator’s knowledge. The operator has since terminated its relationship with the said partner and has updated its system by adding a code which filters out all customers who have not provided an ID number, preventing them from receiving promotional materials.

However, the KO found that both operators had breached Chapter 15, Section 2 of the Gaming Act which states that marketing materials must not be sent to customers who have self-excluded. The KO then threatened both operators with a fine if the operators were caught breaching the act again.