Date: 14.06.2024

by Adam Dworak

Swedish Gambling Regulator Appeals Court Ruling on Zimpler AB Injunction

The Swedish gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, has lodged an appeal against the Administrative Court in Linköping’s annulment of an injunction against the payment provider Zimpler AB. This development follows a contentious legal battle concerning Zimpler’s alleged facilitation of unlicensed gambling activities.

Background of the Case

In July 2023, Spelinspektionen warned Zimpler that it faced a potential fine of up to SEK 25 million (€2.2 million) if it failed to comply with an order to cease operations with unlicensed gambling operators.

Zimpler, a company that provides payment services, claimed it had already phased out its work with these unlicensed entities. Despite this, Zimpler appealed against the injunction, and the Administrative Court upheld their appeal last month.

The administrative court’s decision was based on the assertion that Spelinspektionen lacked the authority to issue the injunction against Zimpler. This ruling created a significant precedent, as it questioned the regulator’s power to control payment services linked to unlicensed gambling operators.

Spelinspektionen’s Argument

Spelinspektionen contends that Zimpler’s provision of payment services to unlicensed operators effectively promotes illegal gambling. The regulator highlighted that by utilizing Zimpler’s payment service in conjunction with BankID—a system exclusive to Sweden—illegal gambling sites were not only accessible to Swedish consumers but also appeared tailored specifically for the Swedish market.

The regulator emphasized the need for a higher court to review the case due to the lack of precedent. It stated: “It is also important for the management of the application of the law that the appeal be examined by a higher court because there is a lack of practice both when gambling companies are considered targeted to Sweden and the current scope of the promotion ban.”

Moreover, Spelinspektionen argued, “Whether or not Zimpler’s payment service has explicitly targeted gambling companies is irrelevant.” The crux of their argument is that the mere facilitation of payments to unlicensed operators constitutes a breach of the country’s gambling regulations.

The appeal by Spelinspektionen underscores the ongoing tension between regulators and payment providers in the gambling industry. This case is pivotal as it could define the extent of regulatory oversight on payment services within the context of gambling law.