Sweden recently announced the verdict of an online poker scandal that took place between 2007 and 2011. The incident involved a large number of poker players who were regulars at Svenska Spel, a popular gambling company in Sweden. The Värmlands District Court indicted 10 individuals for being part of a major fraud.
Lotteriinspektionen, the online gambling regulator in Sweden released a statement saying that these 10 people were guilty as charged for committing fraudulent operations between 2007 and 2011 where they hacked and entered into the gambling databases of a number of operators.
After gaining access, they stole a large portion of player’s confidential information such as usernames, email addresses and passwords.
Armed with this information, they then started a meticulous operation of controlling these accounts and siphoning money from these accounts to their own accounts. The courts took a long time to investigate and try this case but in the end decided to sentence 8 of the accused and acquitted 2 of them. The 8 accused have different degrees of punishment ranging from jail time to community services. All of the accused face the possibility of having to pay back whatever they stole or face a harsher punishment from the courts.
The accused will have to pay back damages that will amount to millions of Swedish Kronas. The recent verdict once again raised concerns about the security of online gambling across the world and in particular Sweden.
Erik Sjöholm, deputy operations manager of Sweden’s online gambling regulator Lotteriinspektionen said that this poker scandal did raise a lot of serious questions about the security of online poker in Sweden. Sjöholm said that it was important to note that the accused were able to run their scam for such a long period of time without being detected. He confirmed that Lotteriinspektionen will review these security lapses in detail along with other information that the investigation has turned up and then take active measures to ensure that these security breaches are mitigated at the earliest.
Lotteriinspektionen is currently focused on cracking down on all grey online gambling websites in Sweden. These illegal websites currently control a significant portion of Sweden’s online gambling market and are often promoted openly and endorsed by a number of well known Swedish companies. The online regulator said that it is important for Sweden to close down these illegal gambling websites and set a strict example of the punishment that will be imposed on these illegal gambling operators.