Swedish regulator issues warning and fine to Kindred; Spooniker manifest Improvement

Kindred Group, an innovative, globally recognized online gambling provider, has officially received a warning and a fine of $998k, which is approximately SEK 10.9 million, for failing to improve its work in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, by the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA).

SGA’s lawsuit:

Today, Kindred’s Swedish-based subsidiary, Spooniker Ltd (Spooniker), was warned and fined $998k (SEK 10.9 million) by the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA).

The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) asserts: “Kindred has failed in its Enhanced due Diligence requirements and have not taken sufficient measures to assess the risk of its services being used for money laundering and terrorist financing.”

Swedish regulator issues warning and fine to Kindred; Spooniker manifest Improvement

The investigation & improvements:

The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) investigated Kindred’s subsidiary from January 2019 to February 2022.

However, Kindred officials claim that the company has applied several improvements in the Swedish markets to reinforce its Spooniker processes.

These alleged improvements involve:

  • Improved AML procedures, including Enhanced Due Diligence procedures. For example, any customer who is considered high risk is required to send bank statements and failure to comply will result in account closure and a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) will be submitted to the financial police if appropriate;
  • Introduced financial indicators and backstops according to recurring income on customers reaching high risk;
  • Extended and thorough customer risk assessments, entailing detailed transaction and gameplay review, as well as review of product risk, affordability risk and risks related to payment methods used;
  • Increased the number of risk-assessed customers and Suspicious Transaction Reports (STR) sent to the financial police;
  • Expanded the AML (anti-money laundering) team to manage the increased requirements relating to appropriately identify and manage customer risk.

Kindred Group fully supports SGA’s goal of stopping money laundering and terrorist financing.

Spokesperson at Kindred Group, said: “We at Kindred would welcome increased clarity from the SGA and legislation on what objective and effective AML risk parameters should be considered when assessing a customer’s risk profile.

Also, improved processes have been put in place since the investigation took place and these improvements are now in line with standards.”

Kindred is planning to appeal against the warning and a fine, but that’s not certain.

Globally recognized online gambling provider:

Kindred Group is an innovative, internationally recognized online gambling provider, with development offices across Europe, US, and Australia. It was founded in 2000 and its self-created, extraordinary brand, Unibet, was the first internationally-licensed brand in Malta.

The company’s focus is on delivering a premium online casino gaming experience by providing customized content to its 30 million customers. Kindred employs more than 2,000 people every year.

This provider is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm Large Cap. Also, it is member of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) and one of the founders of IBIA (International Betting Integrity Association).

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