Global Gaming Loses Appeal, Ponders Next Move

Nov 07

Stockholm listed Global Gaming is currently pondering its next move, after falling short in their latest appeal to get the revocation of their license, which was issued earlier this year, overturned by the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court.

It was in June of this year, after challenging legal disputes, when regulator Spelinspektionen revoked the firm’s license for commercial online gambling and betting from their Malta-based subsidiary, SafeEnt.

The said subsidiary was the one running the igaming entity Ninja Casino alongside spellandet.com.The regulator stated that the license revocation came after they discovered “serious operating deficiencies” in the company’s management of Ninja Casino, as well as violations of key provisions of the gaming law.

One particular example highlighted by the regulator was the fact that customers were able to spend large amounts of money without a reaction to duty of care requirements. It was also revealed that actions against money laundering and terrorist financing showed serious and systematic shortcomings. Deficiencies were also found in the company’s risk assessment and customer knowledge measures.

Global Gaming CEO Tobias Fagerlund stressed that a further appeal has not been taken off the table, and they could still decide to lodge one. “We are disappointed by the court ruling and do not share their opinion. We are now examining the decision in detail and I assume that we will appeal this decision to the Administrative Court of Appeal,” he said.

The firm has lodged three appeals in the past. The first was within the Regional Administrative Court, Linköping, where they challenged SafeEnt’s indefinite market suspension. But the court refused to overturn the regulator’s judgement. The firm then lodged an appeal with the Administrative Court’s Chamber of Appeal, requesting for SafeEnt to be granted “temporary relief” from the suspension.

The motion was also rejected by the Swedish judges. Their latest move was then to elevate their appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court, which governs Sweden’s third and final layer of legal disputes. They argued that the decision to revoke their license should not be applied while the regulator is still seeking final judgement. But their third appeal was still rejected.

The revocation of their subsidiary’s license and the rejection of their three appeals do not mean, however, that the company has been completely unable to operate in the Swedish market. They had recently launched NanoCasino alongside Finnplay, with NanoCasino operated by Finnplay’s subsidiary, Viral Interactive. This particular subsidiary still holds a Swedish license for online gambling, which means Global Gaming, the mother company, isn’t completely out of the market just yet.

It does seem like the stricter regulations have significantly affected Global Gaming. In the interim trading statement they published back in August, Fagerlund and the company’s governance revealed that they had started to reduce employee headcount as a result of the regulatory issues they have recently had to deal with. The suspension has also reportedly affected the firm’s affiliates with Swedish traffic.

Besides Global Gaming, it looks like the Swedish gambling industry, in general, has been negatively affected by market re-regulation, which began in January. The industry’s Q3 2019 revenue was at its lowest at 3.35 million Swedish Krona.