Operator confirms intention to challenge court ruling to reimburse SEK5.8m to a player with gambling addiction
Betsson is set to appeal to the Swedish Supreme Court over a court decision that ruled the operator must pay back around SEK5.8m (£4.5m) to a player who was diagnosed with a gambling addiction.
The Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal ruled today, 21 December, that Betsson must refund the monies to a customer, named as ‘Per’ in local press.
The player in question had been a customer of Betsson for around five years and claimed that Betsson was aware of his gambling addiction.
The player’s case argued that despite this awareness, Betsson continued to send him “extensive and aggressive marketing in relation to online casino”.
Betsson denied these allegations and in an original Patent and Market Court ruling, the judge sided with the operator.
However, the Patent and Market Court of Appeal has reversed the original ruling and ordered Betsson to repay the majority of the player’s losses.
The appeal court noted: “The Court has considered that the investigation shows that there were clear signs that he had lost control of his gambling and that these were visible to the gaming company and that the company has known about this at least from the time when the player became a so-called VIP customer.
“In particular, the Court has taken into account the fact that the gaming company continued to advertise the game intrusively, despite the fact that it was aware at the time that the player had a serious gambling problem and therefore had difficulty defending itself against the marketing.”
Alongside repaying SEK5.8m to the player, Betsson has also been ordered to pay damages amounting to SEK10,000 for “mental suffering”.
This ruling can be appealed in the Swedish Supreme Court, with Betsson confirming to EGR that it will pursue this option in due course.
A Betsson spokesperson said: “We have analysed the ruling by the Patent and Market Court of Appeals and do not agree with the reasoning and conclusions in the judgment.
“We will therefore appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.”
Betsson’s share price has slipped by more than 6% today on the back of the Patent and Market Court of Appeal’s decision.
The Stockholm-listed firm’s share price fell to SEK107.10 from a previous close of SEK114.70, at the time of writing.