Aspire Global, the Malta-based online gambling operator, announced that it will face a lawsuit from the Swedish Consumer Advocate (KO) in which the company is accused of being in violation of marketing rules of gambling in the country.
The Swedish agency announced the court action against AG Communications, a subsidiary of Aspire Global, alleging that the company’s online casino brand Karamba.com violated the Gambling Law and the Swedish Marketing Law.
The failures found by the Swedish authority are related to the bonus offered by Karamba to the Swedish gamblers, which in the opinion of KO impose excessive reinvestment requirements (35x in 21 days), in addition to a waiting time of 24 hours to be able to use the 100 free spins the site promises.
The other complaint of KO is that players could only find out about these burdensome requirements, if they examined the terms and conditions of the promotion, since they are not cited within the same promotion.
The Consumer Ombudsman also does not agree with the omission in the offer of the product that it was only available for people over 18 years. In addition to the lack of information related to gaming problems, as well as the support services offered by the company.
Quoted in the official statement of KO, the lawyer acting in the case, Pär Magnusson accused the Karamba brand by saying that
“it attracts consumers to play with the help of decoys that they will never really know without playing for large numbers. This runs the risk of affecting everyone who has difficulty controlling their games of chance.”
The Aspire Global response
The company defended itself in a statement offered by its CEO Tsachi Maimon, who denied that the bond offers contravene “moderate marketing requirements” set forth in the Swedish Gaming Law.
According to Maimon, the company was assuming a
“critical attitude for having been chosen as subject to the execution of KO in this way” and added that if a lawsuit is filed, the company “would object to KO’s interpretation of the law.”
After being launched in January, the regulated market in Sweden has reigned confusion among operators about the moderation requirements in advertising established in the Gaming Law and the application of this rule on a discretionary basis by the local regulator.
In Sweden, officials have publicly commented on totally banning gambling advertising, as has happened in Italy’s disturbed regulated market.
“The main objective of KO’s action is to achieve jurisprudence in the form of precedence of the patent court and the market, in order to obtain a definition of how the moderate marketing requirement should be interpreted,” Aspire Global said in a statement published on Tuesday.
For Aspire Global it has been a challenge to stay within the legal limits imposed by the regulated Swedish games. His local subsidiary company was fined in the spring with SEK3m (US $ 321,000) accused of allowing self-excluded players to access websites with Swedish license, including Karamba.