Swedish entrepreneur and fashion designer Per Holknekt is suing global online gambling operator Kindred Group and its Swedish subsidiary Spooniker Ltd for SEK10m ($978,355) in damages. He claims that the operator fed on his gambling problem.
gambling losses reached SEK26m ($2.5m)
As Swedish daily Expressen reported this week, Holknekt, who is most famous for co-founding the Swedish clothing firm Odd Molly, filed his 25-page lawsuit with the Stockholm District Court on Monday. He has accused Kindred’s sub-brand Unibet of “fueling his gambling addiction” which ultimately “spiraled out of control.”
The news source stated that Holknekt’s gambling losses reached SEK26m ($2.5m) over a 15-year stretch.
Battles with addiction
Holknekt told Dagens industri that he had Unibet in his sights in August 2020. He told the financial newspaper: “I was seduced into a viciously dependent position towards the gambling companies. It got out of hand. Their cunning technique has drained my last penny.”
According to the court documents filed by Holknekt Monday, Kindred “deliberately ignored” his gambling addiction and “through constant incentives worsened his financial situation.”
In the past, Holknekt has also publically questioned “the big banks that invest in these gaming companies.” The fashion designer, who has not hid from admitting his battles with gambling addiction, has become a leading campaigner for Swedish gambling reforms.
Expressen reports Kindred’s legal representative said the 25-page suit has yet to be read. The Swedish daily added it had received an SMS from Kindred’s head of communications, Alexander Westrell, stating the online gambling giant currently had no comment in regards to the lawsuit.
no stranger to financial penalties
The firm is certainly no stranger to financial penalties in its home country of Sweden, although these typically come courtesy of the national regulatory body, the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA).
In 2020, the SGA hit Kindred with a SEK100m ($12m) fine over its subsidiary Spooniker’s bonus violations. Fortunately for Kindred, in July 2021 Sweden’s Administrative Court reduced the original fine by 50%.