Court denies compensation
Betsson has won a case in the Swedish Patent and Market Court in which the gambling operator stood accused of exploiting addiction for financial gain. The case revolved around a lawsuit filed by an unnamed customer of Betsson subsidiary BML Group.
The plaintiff played online casino games through BML between 2009 and 2014. He deposited €700,000 ($834,152) in that time, allegedly generating €15m ($17.9m) in turnover for the gambling company as a result. The now 54-year-old closed his account in 2014 and later received a gambling addiction diagnosis.
sought SEK 153m ($18m) in compensation.
The lawsuit accused Betsson and BML of exploiting the player’s gambling addiction. It also suggested that the gambling operator profited from illegal gambling and employed aggressive marketing tactics which amounted to harassment. The plaintiff sought SEK 153m ($18m) in compensation.
The Swedish court has now ruled in favor of Betsson and ordered the plaintiff to compensate BML’s legal fees.
Betsson’s winning defense
In response to the unnamed plaintiff’s claims, Betsson argued that his turnover was equal to the original deposit amount of €700,000 rather than the suggested €15m. The company also rebuffed claims of aggressive marketing, instead insisting it employed tactics typical of those found across the industry.
In regards to the mental and emotional damages caused, Betsson pointed to the plaintiff’s source of funds, which consisted of cash generated through his business. The gambling operator argued that the plaintiff had not suffered personal damages from his use of company profits.
The Swedish Patent and Market Court ruled that the plaintiff could not prove that Betsson was aware of his gambling addiction, dismissing the claims of exploitation. The judges also sided with Betsson over the claims of aggressive marketing.
The court ordered the plaintiff to reimburse BML’s legal costs, and provide the business with compensation of SEK 2.08m ($244,183).
An unusual outcome
The result of this Betsson lawsuit may come as a surprise to some, as Swedish authorities are typically far from lenient when it comes to claims against the nation’s gambling operators.
Last year proved particularly difficult for Sweden’s online casino companies. Swedish Social Security Minister Ardalan Shekarabi introduced a string of new measures to combat a predicted rise in gambling related harm amid the pandemic. Despite opposition from licensees and the national regulator, the government imposed strict deposit and time limits for online casino gambling.
In addition, authorities handed out a number of fines throughout the year for regulatory transgressions. One such case saw Betsson hit with a SEK 20m ($2.3m) fine from Spelinspektionen (SGA). The national regulator accused Betsson of allowing customers to fund online accounts using retail vouchers. SGA also found that a Betsson-branded Mastercard offered players illegal bonuses.