Fashion designer Odd Molly, founder Per Holknekt, has made headlines after revealing that he lost a staggering SEK100m (US$9.5m) gambling on 30 different online platforms. His preferred brand was Kindred, and he admitted to losing more than SEK26m (US$2.5m) on Unibet between 2005 and 2019. In a single month, he spent SEK2.7m (US$257,897) on the platform.

The majority of Holknekt’s gambling took place before Sweden’s new Gambling Act was introduced in 2019, leading him to believe that Kindred violated previous laws. However, he has not gambled since 2018. It was revealed that, in moments when he vowed to quit gambling, he would receive a phone call from a Unibet representative offering bonus money, which he believes was an attempt to prevent him from switching to a competing platform.

Highlighting issues with Kindred, Holknekt shared his experience of aggressive marketing and the encouragement from staff to keep gambling. This mirrors a case in December where Betsson AB was ordered to pay SEK5.8m (US$554,000) to a former customer for exacerbating his mental illness through aggressive marketing and encouragement to gamble.

Holknekt, who has been advocating for gambling reform in Sweden, filed a lawsuit in the summer of 2022. He worked with data experts to identify irregularities and deficiencies within Kindred platforms, alleging that the gambling group exploits problem gamblers and fails to meet anti-money laundering obligations.

In response to the lawsuit, Kindred contested that Holknekt was never a VIP customer, a claim refuted by excerpts from the GDPR. The Swedish government plans to implement new rules in April to improve protections for gamblers and impose higher fines for operators with anti-money laundering failings.

Holknekt hopes for a positive ruling in his case, believing it could set a precedent for others who lost money on unregulated platforms in Sweden before the regulated market was established. This follows similar rulings in Germany and Austria. He is also working on an app to block unlicensed gambling platforms.

The lawsuit between Kindred and Per Holknekt continues to capture attention, highlighting the complexities and challenges within the gambling industry.

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