Swedish court dismisses fashion designer’s lawsuit against Kindred

Holknekt said Kindred had encouraged him to gamble despite his addiction.
Holknekt said Kindred had encouraged him to gamble despite his addiction.

The case gained media attention after Per Holknekt sought compensation for gambling losses.

Sweden.- The District Court of Stockholm has dismissed a case brought against Kindred Group by fashion designer Per Holknekt. The founder of Old Molly, an online retailer, sued Kindred in 2022, seeking SEK 10m (€1m) in compensation for gambling losses incurred before Sweden legalised online gambling in 2019.

In a case that attracted significant media attention in Sweden, Holknekt, a recovering gambling addict, said that Kindred’s Unibet had aggressively marketed to him from 2005 to 2019, encouraging him to gamble more despite being aware of his addiction. He said he deposited more than SEK 55m (€5m) in this period and lost over SEK 26m (€2.3m).

Holknekt told the media that he wanted to draw attention to how online gambling operators targeted vulnerable customers. However, the District Court found that Holknekt had no agreement with Kindred but rather with a subsidiary, Unibet International Ltd/Trannel.

It also raised doubts about whether Sweden’s 2018 Gambling Act could be used in a legal challenge pertaining to activities that occurred before gambling was regulated in January of 2019. The court also had doubts about the application of Swedish law since Kindred is registered in Malta. Holknekt was ordered to pay around SEK 2m (€200,000) in legal costs.

Last month, Kindred’s board recommended that shareholders accept a takeover offer from France’s FDJ.

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