LeoVegas Victorious in Swedish Licensing Appeal Process

  • LeoVegas has won its appeal to have its two-year Swedish license extended to five years
  • The initial licensing restriction came due to the operator's UK market transgressions in 2016
  • The court has ruled that the UK judgment is not a sufficient reason to curtail its Swedish license
folder in a filing drawer that reads appeal
LeoVegas has won an appeal to extend its two-year Swedish license to five years, with the court deeming the operator’s past UK market violations to be insufficient reasons for the restriction. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Resuming Swedish operations

LeoVegas AB will resume online gambling operations under a five-year license after it won an appeal against the state gaming regulator in Sweden. 

The appeal came after the governance of LeoVegas challenged the decision made by the Swedish gambling regulatory body, Spelinspektionen, to restrict the operator’s license to two years.

The reason for the curtailment was that the online gambling company was found to be in violation of United Kingdom advertising laws. 

Successful appeal

In its appeal, which was filed in the Swedish Administrative Court of Linköping, LeoVegas argued that any regulatory issues concerning a company in another country should have no bearing on the conditions of a license in Sweden. 

The operator also stated that the said advertising violations took place in 2016. It claimed that since then, it has fully enacted all requirements laid down by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) at the time, and has been fully compliant with its UK licensing terms. 

the said advertising violations took place in 2016

The court judged that LeoVegas has taken sufficient steps to resolve any issues it had with UK regulations. It also did not deem the UK judgment a sufficient reason to not grant the company a five-year license. 

Spelinspektionen is considering appealing the ruling.

Reaction to victory

Following the announcement of the successful appeal, LeoVegas said it looks forward to continuing its online gambling operations in Sweden. It considers “the decision of the Administrative Court as very positive and it gives us an opportunity to continue to focus on compliance.” 

LeoVegas has also underlined its willingness to be fully committed to responsible gambling in Sweden by setting up a subdivision called LeoSafePlay. The separate business division will aim to create the “best conditions for the next generation system, based on machine learning and artificial intelligence.”

CEO Gustaf Hagman said the court’s decision underlines the fact that the company is a professional business. He expressed pride in the team for their hard work in a difficult regulatory environment. 

Foray into the Swedish market

It was in November 2018 that LeoVegas become one of the first online gambling companies to secure a license in Sweden. This came not long after Sweden decided to end its state monopoly on gambling.

Along with two other gambling brands, Bwin and Casumo, LeoVegas only got a two-year operating license from the Swedish authorities. All three companies had been fined by the UKGC that year for past transgressions in other markets.

In May 2018, LeoVegas got fined £600,000 ($733,000) for misleading advertising practices. It was also found to be enabling gamblers on a self-exclusion list to still access their accounts to play.