Swedish regulator reprimands ATG and Polar Limited for sports betting violations

The Swedish Gaming Authority (SGA) has issued a reprimand to AB Trav och Galopp (ATG) and operator Coolbet Polar Limited for the pair's admission of violating Swedish sports betting laws.

In February, the ATG told the SGA that it offered to bet on a horse if the jockey was under 18 at the time of the race.

Swedish gambling laws prohibit operators from offering bets on any event where the majority of participants are under 18 years of age.

Several operators have already been fined for violating this law in relation to betting on football matches, but this is the first time this has happened in horse racing betting.

The firm that holds the monopoly on horse racing betting provided the SGA with a full account of what happened and outlined what steps would be taken to prevent relapses, and those procedures were put in place on 24 February.

“In this case, there is nothing to indicate that the breach constituted a systematic failing on the part of ATG or any of the company’s partners,” the SGA wrote, outlining its decision.

“The Swedish Gaming Inspectorate considers that the violation committed by ATG should not be assessed as serious, but also not as minor or excusable,” the SGA added.

In this case, the SGA ruled that the warning was a sufficient deterrent and added no penalty.

In a separate case, Polar Limited, which operates the Coolbet brand in Sweden, also received a warning after admitting to betting on fines and other in-game violations (red/yellow cards) in a FIFA World Cup qualifier played by Sweden in March .

In accordance with Swedish sports betting laws introduced in April 2020, betting on these markets on matches involving the top four Swedish football divisions, the national under-21 team and the entire Swedish international team is prohibited.

In response, Polar Limited stated that the rates were offered to Swedish customers in error. All bets placed have been canceled by Polar Limited and returned to players.

Providing more details on the cause of the error, the company said it had previously blocked the ability to bet on these types of markets, but cited human error in this case.

“Following the incident, Polar Limited has strengthened its procedures to prevent similar situations in the future and is taking what happened seriously,” the SGA wrote.

“There is no evidence that the violation is caused by a systematic defect in the company. According to the Swedish Gaming Inspectorate, these circumstances speak of mitigation,” the company added.

As with ATG, the SGA refused to pay the fine to Polar Limited, instead reprimanding the company with a formal warning.