Swedish court dismisses amusement park appeal against juvenile gambling fine


The administrative court in Linköping, Sweden, dismissed the appeal of Liseberg amusement park after being fined SEK 20,000 (£ 1,762 / € 1,932 / $ 2,282) for minor gambling by the Swedish Inspectorate games (Spelinspektionen).

The court upheld the ruling by Spelinspektionen, which fined the amusement park after an investigation found it allowed minors to play with claw machines.

In Sweden, claw machines are classified as a form of slot machine that gives out goods as prizes instead of money. They should not be used by people under the age of 18.

Liseberg appealed the fine after it was handed down in September 2020, arguing she was unaware of the country’s rules for claw machines.

“In light of the purpose of the legislation, the administrative court made the same assessment as the Swedish gaming inspectorate, namely that this was a serious violation.” Spelinspektionen said in a statement.

Following a warning, Spelinspektionen conducted a surveillance on Liseberg and found that minors were using the claw machines in the company of adults, without any sign to inform the public of the age restrictions on the machines.

Liseberg explained that when she renewed her gaming license in April 2019, she believed the age restrictions no longer applied. The age requirement signs were later removed, but were restored once Liseberg received notice of their necessity.

Although Spelinspektionen noted that Liseberg’s conduct was a serious violation of the gambling law, the regulator saw little chance that the amusement park would reoffend and decided not to suspend his license. It was decided that the fine should be 20,000 SEK, as claw machines are considered a low risk form of gambling.

The fine, which could have seen the amusement park cede 10% of its licensed gaming revenue, was combined with a warning.

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