- Swedish fashion entrepreneur accuses Kindred of feeding his gambling addiction
- Alleged victim claims he lost SEK 26 million playing on Kindred-owned Unibet
- Swedish government will implement new amendments to the Gambling Act focused on customer protection
The Kindred Group could be on the hook for millions in damages in Sweden arising from a lawsuit filed against it by fashion entrepreneur Per Holknekt, founder of Swedish clothing company Odd Molly. Holknekt is accusing the gambling operator of exploiting his gambling addiction.
The fashion designer previously admitted that he had struggled with gambling addiction for a long time, losing SEK 100 million (£8.7 million) playing on multiple online gambling platforms, including Unibet which is owned and operated by Kindred. Hearing has begun at Stockholm’s District Court and Holknekt believes he has a strong case.
Kindred Allegedly Exploited Plaintiff’s Gambling Addiction
Holknekt claims that he had wagered a total of SEK 55.5 million on Unibet alone between 2005 and 2019, and lost SEK 26 million of that amount.
According to the lawsuit, Kindred fed Holknekt’s gambling addiction, allowing him to continue playing despite knowing his losing patterns. The operator allegedly lured the fashion entrepreneur into gambling more via constant incentives that only worsened his financial situation. Kindred is also being accused of committing failings on its anti-money laundering (AML) obligations.
Holknekt, who is well-known as an anti-gambling advocate in Sweden, is confident in his case, saying he is being supported by a strong legal team, professional data analysts, and witnesses and whistle-blowers.
The fashion designer is seeking SEK 10 million (€1 million) in damages from the company in a case that he said will set a precedent for so many others who have been in a similar ordeal. Kindred is aware of the lawsuit but has not issued any statements on the matter.
It’s not the first time that a legal action of this kind was initiated in Sweden. Online gambling operator Betsson AB was the subject of a similar case involving a former customer who also suffered from a gambling disorder. The Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal ordered Betsson to refund the plaintiff’s losses amounting to SEK 5.8 million (€600,000).
Betsson’s violations detailed in the case occurred before the Swedish Gambling Act, similar to Holknekt’s suit.
New Player Protection Measures on the Way
The Swedish government will introduce stronger customer protections, reinforce customer care duties for licensed online gambling firms, and increase fines for AML violations under amendments to the Gambling Act. The new rules will take effect from April 1, 2024.