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BOS Claims Swedish Banking Institutions Have Suspended Services Provided to Licensed Gambling Operators

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BOS Claims Swedish Banking Institutions Have Suspended Services Provided to Licensed Gambling Operators
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Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary-general of the Swedish trade association Branscheforenigen för Onlinespel (BOS), has claimed that all of the country’s major banking institutions have suspended services they provide to licensed gambling operators.

BOS said that “all major Nordic banks” – including SEB, Swedbank, Nordea, Handelsbanken, DNB Nor and Danske Bank – stopped providing services to Swedish-licensed gambling operators at some point this year.

Claiming this is in violation of Swedish law, Hoffstedt has filed a complaint to the country’s Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen).

Most of these banks, Hoffstedt said, cited internal risk assessments or Sweden’s Anti-Money Laundering Act (PTL) as the reasons for account closures. The BOS secretary-general added that “in some cases the banks have not stated any reason at all”.

“As far as I am aware, no concrete justification for the dismissals and banks’ assessment has been provided in any case,” Hoffstedt said.

Hoffstedt added that gambling operators cannot function without banking services.

“Online gambling companies are, as stated above, dependent on basic financial infrastructure in the form of banking and payment services to conduct their business,” he explained. “This requires [them] to be able to store customers’ funds as well as receive deposits and make payments to customers.”

He added that the suspension of services meant that operators could no longer use Bank-ID, used to verify players’ identities. This meant they had lost access to a tool that was vital for fighting fraud and money laundering, Hoffstedt.

“Without access to the Bank-ID system, online gambling companies need to use alternative solutions to identify their customers. These solutions risk being neither as effective for companies nor as safe for users,” he explained.

Swedish Banks also provide the Swish payment service, which Hoffstedt said was also “very important” for operators.

Hoffstedt said that the banks’ decisions had worsened operating conditions for the country’s igaming licensees, as well as counteracting the goals of the Gambling Act.

He went as far as arguing that the actions were illegal.

Hoffstedt said banks have a contractual obligation to continue to provide banking services to these customers, unless there is a clear reason to break this agreement. Only in incidents where continuing to provide banking services would violate the PTL, or if the banking customer had committed misconduct, could agreements be broken, he claimed.

While Hoffstedt noted that banks may terminate agreements if they suspect a customer has connections to money laundering, he pointed out the PTL made clear that these assessments are at the customer level. They can, therefore, not be applied on a sweeping basis to a legal industry.

“Given that a large proportion of BOS members also received notice or notice of termination from the banks – all with general and overarching references to the risk of money laundering in the business – it seems obvious that the basis for the dismissals is a general business policy decision rather than a valid application of PTL,” he said.

“Under these circumstances, there is no possibility for the banks to deviate from their contractual obligation.”

BOS requested a dialogue with the Financial Supervisory Authority and said the regulator “should initiate a supervisory investigation of the banks’ handling and possibly intervene against the banks”.

SEB – one of the banks mentioned by BOS – however, argued it was not systematically ending relationships with gambling operators but rather examined the risk for every client on an individual basis.

“We always make an individual assessment of individual client relationships,“ SEB said. “When it comes to gambling companies, we generally have a cautious approach based on the raised risk level, not least connected to risks relating to money laundering and financial crime.”

Danske Bank, meanwhile, denied it had a policy specifically preventing gambling businesses from operating, but did say these businesses undergo a stricter screening process.

“Danske Bank does not exclude banking services for gambling operations as such,” Danske Bank said. “However, our assessment is that the gambling industry in general is associated with high risk and due to that we have tailored screening principles to ensure that the companies operate responsibly.

“In a case where a specific gambling client does not meet the requirements of our KYC-process or ESG-assessment, the ultimate consequence could be that we limit our offerings or refrain from enter into a business relationship.”

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Bulletin from Kambi Group plc’s Annual General Meeting 2024

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Kambi Group plc (Company Registration Number C49768) having its registered address situated at Avenue 77 Complex, A4, Triq in-Negozju, Zone 3, Central Business District, Birkirkara, CBD3010, Malta (the “Company”) held its Annual General Meeting on 21 May 2024 at its registered office (the “Meeting”).

Fourteen resolutions were presented to the Meeting. Twelve ordinary resolutions (resolutions a – l) were approved:

  • Annual Report and the Financial Statements of the Company for the year ended 31 December 2023 were approved
  • Remuneration report for the year ended 31 December 2023 was approved
  • Number of Board Members 2024 was approved
  • Board Members’ fees 2024 were approved
  • Anders Ström, Patrick Clase and Marlene Forsell were re-elected as Directors
  • Kristian Nylén and Benjie Cherniak were appointed as additional new Directors
  • Anders Ström was appointed Chairman
  • Guidelines on the appointment and composition of the Nomination Committee were approved
  • Mazars Malta were re-appointed as external auditors

All two extraordinary resolutions, resolutions m and n, obtained one majority of two required in terms of Clause 135 of the Companies Act (Chapter 386 of the Laws of Malta), and in terms of Articles 48B.2(b) of the Articles of Association of the Company. To this end, an Extraordinary General Meeting is being convened within 30 days of today’s Annual General Meeting, as per proviso in same Clause and Articles, to take a fresh vote on the proposed resolutions.

The Board extends its gratitude to Lars Stugemo and Cecilia de Leeuw for their dedicated service and contributions.

By order of the Board

Sarah Fenech
Company Secretary

 

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UK fans able to bet on OKTAGON MMA with SkyBet after betting market debut on William Hill

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UK fans are now able to get even more involved with OKTAGON MMA, after news broke that fans can bet on Europe’s leading MMA promotion with SkyBet.

Although fans can already bet in the UK via William Hill, the move to SkyBet opens up the market even further for fans wishing to get involved with the action.

OKTAGON has made significant strides to get more involved with its ever-growing UK fanbase, with the first ever show on these shores in November 2023 at the AO Arena in Manchester.

On the back of that success, OKTAGON returned twice in 2024; the first coming at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle in January, before an enthralling night at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham in April.

OKTAGON MMA co-owner Pavol Neruda commented: “We are really pleased that our fanbase in the UK and Ireland can now engage even further with OKTAGON MMA.

“SkyBet is an extremely well-respected platform, and this exemplifies the growth of OKTAGON MMA in the UK and Ireland, a market where we have dedicated significant effort to expand, and shine a light on up-and-coming MMA talent.”

UK fans can place their first bet via SkyBet for the next OKTAGON tournament, when the organisation lands in Prague at the spectacular Fortuna Arena for OKTAGON 58 for the blockbuster rematch between Karlos Vemola and Attila Vegh in front of 27,000 fans.

 

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BF Group Launches Enhanced Platform for Sports Betting and Casino Operators

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BF Group Launches Enhanced Platform for Sports Betting and Casino Operators
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BF Group, a leading innovator in the gaming and betting industry, proudly announces the launch of the latest version of their comprehensive platform designed for sports betting and casino operators. This new iteration stands out with its cutting-edge design solutions, leveraging a headless approach to ensure seamless and modern operations.

The platform is already live with BF Group’s clients, including the leading Polish sportsbook operator, LV BET.

Marcin Doszczecko, CEO of LV BET Poland and Latvia, shared his enthusiasm: “After the initial tests, we are thrilled to be part of the pilot phase of BF Group’s new platform. We’ve observed significant improvements in operational flow and profitability. The feedback from our VIP players has been overwhelmingly positive, underscoring the platform’s quality and effectiveness.”

Wiktor Grabarczyk, CEO of BF Group, commented: “We continually develop our platforms and other products, but the improvements in this iteration are so significant that we present it as a new stage in our product evolution. We are pleased to provide our partners with an even better tool, ensuring operators and their players have a comfortable and enhanced experience with our sports betting products.”

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