Stockholm-listed operator Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has suspended sports betting operations on in-house brands Rizk and Guts in Sweden.

The company has decided to temporarily suspend the sportsbooks pending clarification from the Swedish gambling regulator regarding the interpretation of certain elements of the country’s new gambling laws.

GiG subsidiary Zecure Gaming was one of eight operators to be cautioned and fined by the regulator at the start of July for offering bets on sporting events involving young players. Zecure was hit with a SEK3.5m fine and GiG intends to appeal the decision, stating that it does not agree with the regulator's assessment and conclusion.

“We find ourselves in an impossible position due to the lack of clarity in the Swedish gambling regulation,” said GiG chief executive Robin Reed. “We have to protect the company and its shareholders from potential penalties from such vagueries. This action was taken because, ultimately, it is critically important for us to be compliant. So, we decided to temporarily suspend further bets until this can be clarified.”

Reed said that the current rules for online sports betting are open to interpretation, leaving uncertainty around whether an operator is in fact compliant or not.

“The recent fines issued by the Swedish regulator to GiG and multiple other peers demonstrate this overall uncertainty in the market,” he explained. “We encourage the [regulator] to amend the relevant rules so that they do not leave any room for misinterpretation and we would welcome the opportunity to collaborate on this. We have taken the lead on this and we also encourage the [regulator] to suspend all sportsbooks operating in Sweden until such clarification is provided.”

The Rizk and Guts sportsbooks are only suspended in Sweden and remain live in other countries. They will be re-launched as soon as the necessary regulatory clarification is given.

Any bets received but not yet settled will be honoured, with GiG stating that the financial impact of the sportsbook suspension will be immaterial.

Shares in Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (OSL:GIG) were trading down 2.76 per cent at NOK11.96 per share in Oslo Wednesday morning.

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