Ninja Casino‘s parent company has had its Swedish online gambling licenses revoked after the regulator found the company’s social responsibility and anti-money-laundering (AML) measures to be inadequate.
On Monday, Sweden’s Spelinspektionen regulatory body announced that it had ordered the immediate revocation of the online casino and sports betting licenses of SafeEnt Ltd, a subsidiary of Sweden-based Global Gaming. The regulator took the unprecedented step after discovering “serious deficiencies in the company’s operations, including applicable gaming responsibility and measures against money laundering.”
Spelinspektionen said SafeEnt, whose brands include the popular Ninja Casino, had “violated several of the most central parts of the game law,” including allowing customers to exceed their online deposit limits and failing to intervene when customers demonstrated obvious signs of problem gambling behavior.
In addition, Spelinspektionen said it found “serious and systematic shortcomings” in SafeEnt’s AML and terrorist financing measures. SafeEnt also violated Sweden’s increasingly strict rules regarding bonus offers and to have offered lottery products that weren’t covered under the company’s local licenses.
SafeEnt’s proposals for rectifying these shortcomings were found to be “not sufficient” by Spelinspektionen, who also determined that SafeEnt “lacks understanding of important parts of the regulations that govern” its operations. Spelinspektionen said it had no choice but to act immediately because customers “may be adversely affected if the business is allowed to continue.”
Global Gaming has already announced its intention to appeal the revocation, saying the actions the company took following its dialogue with Spelinspektionen had left the company with the impression that “the operation is running correctly.”
Global Gaming’s acting CEO Tobias Fagerlund said the company had “good reasons to believe” that its appeal will be successful, because the revocation “lacks legal support and compose an unproportional [sic] action which will cause the company significant damage.”
Ninja Casino was previously taken to court by Sweden’s ombudsman for not exercising sufficient ‘moderation’ in its promotional material. The company’s outdoor advertising has also come under fire by Swedish media for being overly “aggressive or misleading.”
Global Gaming has struggled to maintain its former position in Sweden following the country’s launch of its new regulated online market this January. In April, the company scrapped a planned dividend after reporting a SEK45m (US$4.75m) operating loss in Q1 compared with a SEK29m profit in the same period last year.