Swedish regulator revokes licence of Ninja Casino operator, Global Gaming

As we await in the UK the outcome of the appeal by Malta-based remote casino operator, Maxent Limited (trading most recently as MaxEnt, with the domain names betat.co.uk and slottyvegas.com) against the Gambling Commission’s decision to revoke its operating licence (to which David Clifton referred in his article earlier this month for SBC News entitled “Beware the Gambling Commission’s change of corporate control process”), Sweden’s gambling regulator (Spelinspektionen) has bared its teeth in similar fashion by revoking the licence held by Ninja Casino operator, Global Gaming, having found serious failings in its social responsibility and anti-money laundering controls.

Like MaxEnt, Global Gaming is also licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority.

The circumstances giving rise to the revocation of Global Gaming’s licence are set out clearly in an article (that you can download below) published by iGaming Business entitled “Swedish regulator revokes Global Gaming licence”.

The English translation of Global Gaming’s press release published yesterday states as follows:

Global Gaming 555AB – Swedish Gaming Authority has informed the decision to revoke the licenses – The decision will be appealed

Global Gaming 555AB’s subsidiary SafeEnt Ltd, which runs the internet casino Ninja Casino, loses its Swedish license for commercial online gambling and betting. The decision which has been communicated to us this morning has immediate effect and the Company has therefore for the time being discontinued with offering its products in Sweden.

SafeEnt Ltd has under a period had a dialogue with the Swedish Gaming Authority concerning the shortcomings in the operation and are under the impression that the actions taken has secured that the operation is running correctly. The Gaming Authority’s decision will therefore appeal immediately.

“The information this morning from the Gaming Authority came unexpected due to that the company is under the impression that we comply with the regulations which the new legislation has set on gaming operators in Sweden. That they come with this decision is odd”, says Tobias Fagerlund, acting CEO at Global Gaming 555AB.

It is the Company’s and the legal advisors impression that all demands to hold a license are complied with. The company’s legal team is under the firm impression that the Gaming Authority’s decision lacks support in the Gaming Law and therefore the decision will be appealed.

“We will of course appeal the decision and have good reasons to believe that we will have success in an appeal. That the license now have been revoked lacks legal support and compose an unproportional action which will cause the company significant damage”, says Tobias Fagerlund.

UPDATES:

1.  20 June 2019

On 20 June 2019, the Administrative Court of Linköping in Sweden rejected a request from Global Gaming for suspension of the decision by Spelinspektionen to revoke its licence suspended pending the outcome of the appeal it has lodged against that decision. The consequence of this is that Global Gaming is unable to offer its gambling facilities to customers in Sweden pending the outcome of the appeal process. You can read more about the Court’s decision in a further iGaming Business article entitled “Global bid to suspend Swedish licence revocation rejected”, that can also be downloaded below.

Global Gaming has issued a further press release following the Administrative Court’s decision, the English translation of which states as follows:

Global Gaming555 AB appeals the Administrative Court’s decision to deny the appeal for inhibition

Global Gaming 555AB’s subsidiary SafeEnt Ltd, which operates the internet casino Ninja Casino, lost its Swedish license for commercial online gambling and betting on Monday June 17.

The appeal was sent to the Administrative Court the same afternoon, as both the Company and its legal counsel are of the opinion that the decision lacks support in the Gambling Act and the Company is confident that all demands to hold a license are complied with.

During the afternoon, the Company has received a ruling from theAdministrative Court, which denies the appeal of the Swedish Gambling Authority’s decision to revoke the licenses. The Company will appeal the Administrative Court’s decision to the Administrative Court of Appeal.

“We are of course disappointed by the Administrative Court’s decision and have appealed this. Our considered position to the principal claim is clear and that the Gambling Authority decision to revoke our licenses is incorrect. We look forward to the judicial testing of their decision” says Tobias Fagerlund, acting CEO at Global Gaming 555AB, and continues: “Our business, our 170 employees and approximately 6,000 shareholders are suffering every minute business cannot be conducted and it is our opinion that, in order to ensure a fair hearing of the case and to limit the continuing damage to us, we shall be able to conduct our business activities until the judicial review is completed. The Swedish Gambling Authority’s reasoning in that part is incorrect and it is my hope that the Administrative Court of Appeal will now come to a different decision of that of the Administrative Court”.

2.  9 July 2019

On 9 July 2019, Global Gaming issued a press release following a further judicial refused for relief from its licence revocation. It reads as follows:

Global Gaming 555 AB – Injunctive relief appeal rejected by the Administrative Court of Appeal

Global Gaming 555 AB’s subsidiary SafeEnt Ltd, which operates the internet casino Ninja Casino, had its Swedish licences for commercial online gambling and betting revoked on Monday, June 17.

An appeal for injunctive relief was immediately submitted to the Administrative Court, as the company and its legal counsel are of the opinion that the decision lacks support in the Gaming Law and the company maintains that all licence requirements are complied with. The appeal also called for temporary relief from the regulator’s decision. Today, the Administrative Court of Appeal rejected the appeal.

“We are of course disappointed by the ruling of the Administrative Court of Appeal and the fact that relief was not conceded. We and our shareholders suffer a great deal of damage for every day operations are suspended. It is still our conviction that we will prevail at the end of the process. We are currently considering options for an appeal for injunctive relief in the Supreme Administrative Court.” says Tobias Fagerlund, Global Gaming 555 AB’s CEO.

3.  5 August 2019

As reported in iGaming Business:
Global Gaming has recommenced activities in Sweden after rolling out new brand NanoCasino in partnership with igaming technology and platform provider Finnplay Group. The NanoCasino.com website will operate under a Swedish commercial online gaming licence held by Viral Interactive Limited, which has a marketing arrangement in place with one of Global Gaming’s subsidiaries. Viral Interactive, which is a subsidiary of Finnplay, will have full responsibility for operating the NanoCasino.com site in Sweden. Details of the new online casino brand were announced last month, shortly after Global Gaming and Finnplay signed off on a new technology agreement. The deal grants Global Gaming access to Finnplay’s full portfolio of solutions and complete platforms for online gaming.

4.  7 August 2019

On 7 August 2019, Global Gaming issued a press release after Sweden’s Supreme Administrative Court rejected an appeal for injunctive relief. It read as follows:

Global Gaming 555 AB – Injunctive relief appeal rejected by the Supreme Administrative Court

Global Gaming 555 AB’s subsidiary SafeEnt Ltd, which operates the internet casino Ninja Casino, had its Swedish licences for commercial online gambling and betting revoked on Monday, June 17.

An appeal for injunctive relief was immediately submitted to the Administrative Court, as the company and its legal counsel are of the opinion that the decision lacks support in the Gaming Law and the company maintains that all licence requirements are complied with. The appeal also called for temporary relief from the regulator’s decision. Today, the Supreme Administrative Court rejected the appeal for injunctive relief without providing any further explanation.

Global Gaming has appealed the regulator’s decision to revoke the licence and the case is now with the Administrative Court in Linköping.

“Although we were aware that the chances of being granted injunctive relief were limited, we are, of course, disappointed to see our appeal rejected again. Our focus is now on the judicial review of the Swedish Gambling Authority’s decision that is currently taking place. We maintain that the decision is fundamentally wrong and disproportionate, and will show it during the process that is currently underway in the Administrative Court, ”says Tobias Fagerlund, CEO of Global Gaming 555 AB.

Download article PDF: Global Gaming press release 17.06.19
Download article PDF: Global Gaming press release 20.06.19