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Swedish regulator warns rally organiser over LeoVegas sponsorship

16th February 2015 12:30 pm GMT

Swedish gambling regulator Lotteriinspektionen has warned the organisers of the Rally Sweden racing event that it must take appropriate action in future if one of its competitors again features branding from an unlicensed gaming operator.

The Lotteriinspektionen warned Rally Sweden that it must ensure that it does not accept sponsorship from iGaming companies not licensed to operate in the country.

The warning came after it noted that one of the competing vehicles featured LeoVegas’ branding in this year's event, which took place over the weekend (February 12th and 15th) in Värmland.

The regulator said the sponsorship violated the country’s lottery laws which prohibit the marketing or advertising of foreign gambling companies.

Under Article 38 of the country’s Lottery Act, it is prohibited to trade in or gain from the promotion of a lottery organised abroad.

The regulator has written to the organisers of Rally Sweden, asking that they take appropriate action to ensure similar agreements are not signed in future, and that the current agreement with LeoVegas is not repeated. LeoVegas is founded by Swedish executives but based and licensed in Malta.

The Lotteriinspektionen has made numerous moves to stop operators from using major sporting events to advertise their services to Swedish customers, with its director general Håkan Hallstedt writing an open letter to companies asking them to avoid partnering events where their branding will be seen by minors in December.

It has even gone as far as to threaten the organisers of the Stockholm Marathon with a SEK2m (€220,000) fine in April 2014, after the event was sponsored by Swedish operator Unibet. However while the regulator has the authority to issue an injunction to stop an event from taking place and hand out a fine, it struggles to enforce such bans.

In 2013 the Lotteriinspektionen failed in its attempt to have Unibet’s sponsorship of the Swedish Open tennis tournament cancelled, with the operator simply refusing to respond to the regulator’s request to cancel the agreement.

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