Swedish regulator takes no action against Aftonbladet fantasy game

Swedish gaming regulator Spelinspektionen has decided not to take action against newspaper Aftonbladet following an investigation into whether Aftonbladet violated the country’s Gaming Act.

According to the regulator, Aftonbladet advertised a number of fantasy sports events – known as ‘manager competitions’ – between 1 January 2020 and 1 June 2021.

These allowed readers to compete by forming a fictional team, with the opportunity to win prizes such as iPhones and travel gift cards.

The regulator launched an investigation as some prizes – in particular gift cards – could be considered a financial gain, meaning the game would be considered gambling under Sweden’s Gambling Act. Aftonbladet did not, and currently does not, hold a gambling licence.

To enter, readers were required to hold an Aftonbladet Plus subscription, which costs SEK79 (£6.32/€7.58/$8.33).

Aftonbladet argued that no payment was technically required to participate in the manager competitions, meaning that it did not need a gaming licence. Spelinspektionen disagreed, stating that the Aftonbladet Plus subscription, which is required to enter, costs money.

Chapter 3, section 4 of the Gambling Act states that a licence is not required for games that do not cost money to enter.

After the investigation began, Aftonbladet stopped offering prizes with financial value, meaning that it no longer violated the Gaming Act.

Spelinspektionen found that, as Aftonbladet no longer offered these prizes, it therefore does not warrant any penalty action.

Yesterday (21 March), Bayton Limited agreed to pay SEK35,000 to Spelinspektionen after it did not report a change to its board of directors.

Author: Raymond Fleming