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

Niji Narayan

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BOS Claims Swedish Banking Institutions Have Suspended Services Provided to Licensed Gambling Operators
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

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.”

Latest News

New multi-year partnership between 32Red and Rangers marks the longest running in British football

George Miller

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New multi-year partnership between 32Red and Rangers marks the longest running in British football
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Kindred’s brand 32Red has today announced a multi-year extension of its partnership with Scottish Professional Football League, SPFL, Champions Rangers. The extension means that the partnership will be one of the longest running in British football. As part of the partnership 32Red also commits to continue supporting Team talk – a men’s mental health initiative.

Kindred Group, through its 32Red brand, has extended its support of SPFL Champions Rangers, a partnership that dates back to 2014. The new multi-year partnership is one of the longest running partnerships in British football. An important part of the partnership is the continuation of Team Talk, a men’s mental health initiative supported by 32Red.

Over the past years, Kindred Group’s UK brands have focused on an ambitious project to change the sponsorship model in sport, using the power of sport in general and football in particular, to achieve a positive impact on society. Team Talk is an example of an appreciated initiative that contributes to the community by using the local club and, from time to time, players and managers, as a mechanism to engage with men about their mental well-being.

“Rangers and 32Red have been on a long journey together and I am delighted that our winning partnership is continuing. I was particularly heartened to hear that the vital Team Talk initiative will be continuing as part of the new agreement. I recently took part in a really positive session and it is abundantly clear to me how much of a support network Team Talk provides to our fans. Today’s announcement is really positive news for everyone connected to the club”, says Rangers Manager Steven Gerrard. Gerrard joined a Team Talk session via video conference and was joined by 25 regular members, who explained how the meetings through Team Talks had helped then during the pandemic.

“We are thrilled to be continuing our longstanding partnership with SPFL Champions Rangers – it’s been quite a journey over the last decade and we’re proud to have played our part in that. It is a hugely exciting time to be involved with the club, as this current season has shown already. More widely, we remain committed to reinventing the sports sponsorship model, so that it benefits the wider community. That is why, as part of this extended agreement with the club we will be renewing our support for the vital men’s mental health initiative, Team Talk”, concludes Neil Banbury, UK General Manager, Kindred Group.

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Industry News

Bragg Gaming Group Appoints Richard Carter as CEO

Niji Narayan

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Bragg Gaming Group Appoints Richard Carter as CEO
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Bragg Gaming Group has announced that its board member Richard Carter has stepped into the role of CEO of the Company.

In addition, board member Paul Godfrey assumed the role of Chair of the Board and board member Lara Falzon moved to the role of Audit Committee Chair.

Prior to joining the Bragg Board of Directors in 2020, Carter was CEO of sports betting solutions and services provider SBTech for five years.

“I’m excited to be leading Bragg in its next phase of growth and helping to shape the future of the company, as we continue to provide next generation premium content and tools to our B2B partners. Bragg has the cutting-edge technology, the data driven insights, the player engagement tools and the premium content that ideally positions the Company to capture an increasing proportion of global iGaming market. I’m eager to leverage these strengths to expand Bragg in both our core European markets and in the rapidly growing North American iGaming market,” Carter said.

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Industry News

Stats Perform Launches Pressbox

Niji Narayan

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Stats Perform Launches Pressbox
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Stats Perform has announced the launch of PressBox – an all-in-one online platform that delivers data-driven insights, video clip discovery and unparalleled data research at a speed faster than ever before.

Sports media organisations face a near-insurmountable challenge of producing high-quality analysis, graphics, video, and more within moments during a live event. PressBox addresses these challenges by compiling the most impactful tools all in one place, powered by Stats Perform’s best-in-class sports data. PressBox users can create a truly unique fan experience by supercharging production efforts, reducing time to insight, and enriching commentary with PressBox.

“Key narratives which might have taken researchers 10 crucial minutes to uncover are served in mere moments to PressBox users. PressBox is the destination for the best sports research and data-driven insights all under one intuitive platform,” Nancy Hensley, Chief Product and Marketing Officer at Stats Perform, said.

Alongside the release of the PressBox platform are two new Stats Perform applications on the PressBox platform – PressBox Live and PressBox Video.

PressBox Live, a real-time sports media dashboard, provides detailed player and team statistics, insights and new AI-powered metrics to tell a deeper sports story. The dashboard includes:

  • A live feed that surfaces insights as fast as the action occurs, quickly unlocking the story of the game and reducing manual research time.
  • Advanced metrics like live win probability and expected goals that adjust constantly with the action.
  • Integrated live chat with Stats Perform’s award-winning Research and Editorial staff to serve as an extension of a user’s team.
  • Graphics and visualisations that share information that is quick to consume, as opposed to just viewing traditional data tables.

PressBox Video, a new application in the Stats Perform ecosystem, is a personal video content assistant designed to transform the conventional video clip discovery, editing and publishing process with:

  • A massive selection of sports videos, with access to more than 10 years of archive footage.
  • In-app, cloud-based video editing software to speed delivery and customise video content.
  • Intuitive search functionality to find the right clip at the right time, every time.
  • Personalised content preferences that automatically present the most relevant clips.
  • Multiple video file formats and screen ratios that allow for video export compatible with most major broadcast tools and social media platforms.
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