Zimpler is Appealing Against the Decision of the Swedish Gambling Authority

July 22, 2023 | Financial

SWEDEN (July 21, 2023) — Zimpler, which offers tailor-made solutions for flexible and secure account-to-account payments, received a decision from the Gambling Authority on July 6 to stop providing payment services with BankID to gambling companies that accept Swedish consumers without a Swedish gambling license by July 31 at the latest. Zimpler will comply with this decision as they already announced in May that they intend to end the business relationships affected by the decision. Despite this, Finanstid reports the company has chosen to appeal the decision because it affects them and contains legal issues that need to be clarified not only for Zimpler but for the entire industry.

In the re-regulation of the Swedish gambling market in 2019, consumers were not prohibited from playing on sites outside the Swedish licensing system. Gambling companies without a Swedish license were also not prohibited from accepting Swedish players. Payment service providers were allowed to handle payments to such companies if they did not target the Swedish market. In 2021, government investigators proposed changes to gambling regulations, including a requirement that gambling companies without a Swedish license introduce IP blocking against Sweden. Zimpler supported this proposal, but it has not yet been implemented by the government.

“Zimpler supports the Swedish Gaming Authority’s mission to strengthen the Swedish licensing system and the protection of consumers in the gaming market. We strive for responsibility and compliance in the gaming industry and have long invested in product development in this area. In discussions with legislators and authorities, Zimpler has also proposed measures to improve consumer protection, such as blocking Swedish consumers from playing on sites without a Swedish license through IP blocking and introducing B2B licenses for payment service providers,” says Johan Strand, CEO of Zimpler.

In accordance with this, Zimpler already announced in May this year that they would voluntarily end their business relationships with gaming companies that do not have a Swedish gaming license. The process began in the second quarter and was planned to be completed before the end of the third quarter of this year. Zimpler is actively working to end the business relationships covered by the Swedish Gambling Authority’s decision, which the authority is also aware of.

Zimpler’s decision to terminate the agreements with the relevant gaming companies is part of the company’s strategy to contribute to a sustainable payment market through financial services with increased consumer protection, as well as to continue to diversify the company’s operations and grow in other segments where they have the majority of their customers.

Despite this, Zimpler will appeal the decision as they believe it is misdirected and wrong, and that it has far-reaching consequences. The decision affects the company negatively because their commercial opportunities are limited in a way that is not supported by the law.

The decision also contains several legal issues that need to be clarified by the court in order for certain payment service providers to be able to continue their operations without risking interventions from Swedish authorities. These questions include:

  • Can marketing of a game offer that is not illegal in itself still be considered illegal marketing?
  • Under what circumstances should a foreign gambling operator with a license in a country other than Sweden be considered covered by the Swedish Gambling Act, and what significance does the use of BankID somewhere in the payment chain have for this assessment?
  • How does the Swedish gaming legislation relate to the free movement of services, such as payments, which are fundamental within the EU?

“The appeal is also a measure to ensure legal certainty in companies’ relations with authorities. Companies should be able to plan and conduct their business with predictable application of laws and regulations. It is a fundamental principle in society, both in Sweden and within the EU,” says Johan Strand.

See: Order ordering Zimpler to cease promoting illegal gambling

SOURCE: finanstid.se.

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