The Swedish gaming regulator Spelinspektionen has fined Bet365 operator Hillside Sports SEK1m (€98,000) and issued it a warning for offering bets on a football friendly in which most players were aged under 18.
The match in question took place on March 28, 2020, between Kronängs IF and Mariedals IK. After an extensive review, the Swedish Gambling Authority discovered that 24 of the 34 players were beneath the legal age of 18. Bet365 allegedly violated Chapter 8 Section 2.2 of the Swedish Gambling Act by offering bets on the match, according to the authority.
Hillside said it had believed it could offer bets because the fixture was not specifically an underage match. It said it took immediate action to avoid offering odds on similar matches in the future, which included a decision to stop offering bets on lower-division friendlies.
It said: “The fact that a majority of the players then turned out to be under 18 years was an unfortunate coincidence that could have occurred in any senior league at any time and which could not be foreseen.”
Bets on the match in question had been voided, it said.
— Gambling Magazine (@GamblingMag) March 25, 2021
Bet365 appealed the decision but was unsuccessful, and the penalty was handed out for breaching Chapter 8 rules.
Bet365 stated in May 2019 it was not taking bets on Swedish matches that were labelled as U20, U21 and U23 to meet the Chapter 8 regulation.
It will continue working with the Svenska Football Association to recommend appropriate Swedish football markets.