Kindred Risks $6.3M Fine in Poland

Kindred Group’s sports betting brand Unibet risks a fine of up to $6.3 million because of allegations that it targeted customers in Poland. Unibet does not have a license in Poland and was accused of breaching the rules by a local operator.

Kindred Actively Targeted Polish Customers

STS Gaming Group, which is the biggest gambling company in Poland, accused Unibet of illegally targeting Polish customers with its products. According to the Polish company, the Kindred subsidiary has been actively marketing its content to local audiences for years.

The allegations say that Unibet provided gaming without consulting and receiving permission from the Ministry of Finance. STS Gaming Group also noted that the company illegally promoted its products and even marketed on shirts of foreign football clubs during their matches in Poland.

STS Gaming emphasized that Unibet has a site in Polish that has been slyly changing its domain name to prevent being blocked by the Ministry of Finance. The Polish operator also implied that Kindred does not do enough for the protection of Polish citizens, unlike licensed companies.

As a result of the alleged transgressions, STS Gaming Group launched a lawsuit against its foreign competitor.

The Operator Faces a Fine of Up to $6.3M

Zdzisław Kostrubała, a board member of STS Gaming, said that Unibet didn’t leave the market in 2017 as it said it would. Back then, Kindred ended its Polish license after the government imposed a 12% gross tax on turnover. Yet, Unibet still continued to take bets from Polish citizens, while its parent company continued maintaining a site in Polish.  Because of that, the sportsbook is “evidently” in violation of the law, Kostrubała noted.

Kindred reportedly risks a fine of $6.3 million for promoting its content to local customers, as well as an additional fine of up to $670,000 for offering gambling without a license or approval by the local regulator.

In response to the lawsuit, the Warsaw District Court prohibited Unibet from marketing and offering its content in the country and appealed to legal companies to oppose the offshore brand. Kostrubała praised the court for this decision and said that he hopes Unibet will comply without the need for further legal action.

Meanwhile, offshore companies claim that the Polish government is strongly favoring local operators, which infringes EU competition laws. Because of that, the European Commission asked Poland to update its approach to online gambling.

In other news, Kindred was slammed with a fine by Sweden’s gambling authority because of AML shortcomings. The group promised to do better.